In the previous two decades Asian communities in the Atlanta metro area nearly tripled in size. According to a census estimate, Forsyth County, a suburban area Northeast of the city, had the fastest Asian population growth in the U.S. among counties with a population of at least 20,000.
I had heard that Atlanta was emerging as a truly globalized city, but I hadn’t had the opportunity to explore the communities in Metro Atlanta myself until recently. I was scheduled for an evangelism training in one of Atlanta’s exurbs and was glad to have the opportunity to spend time with one of our newest team members joining us as a mission mobilizer in the region. Taking advantage of the opportunity, I flew in a day early so we could hit the streets around Atlanta.
After conversations with guys from The Congo, Somalia, and Ethiopia in Clarkston, we went out to witness a robust Asian community around Doraville and the Eastern loop of Atlanta. Driving through commercial areas, we saw Vietnamese, Chinese, and Korean signs in shopping center after shopping center and block after block. We stopped into Ding Tea, a global franchise from Taiwan, and strolled through a grocery store that quite obviously understood the global scope of its community.
When we talk about global cities, we might possibly think of Atlanta because it is a major travel hub or because it is a major city of the Southern U.S. Until recently, we likely would not have associated Atlanta with a large Asian community. However, Atlanta is certainly a global city and among the top twenty migrant gateway cities in the United States. In Georgia, the top 3 foreign born populations originate from Mexico, India, and Vietnam, and of course much of this global diversity is concentrated around Atlanta, which makes up half of the state’s population. Atlanta is a vibrant and diverse mission field. If you have a heart for making disciples among the nations next door from Asia, Atlanta might be the mission field for you.