The Institute on Religion & Development's (IRD's) John Lomperis recently published an article on IRD's blog about Filipino United Methodist migrants planting churches in the Middle East, where they live as laborers. While Lomperis begins the article with polemical remarks about American ecclesio-political fights, most of the article is a description of the context and work of these Filipino United Methodists, including observations from a trip Lomperis took to visit some of them.
I found Lomperis' article interesting as another example of the ways in which mission, especially when combined with migration, bypasses and even at times subverts formal church structures. (This blog has shared other such examples, including this recent article.) Lomperis notes that the mission work that these Filipino United Methodists are engaged in is not supported by any formal structure of the denomination and is not part of the standard geographic units of the denomination.