The ones who had turned to the Lord were expatriate Jews who had come from every nation, and there were about 15 language groups (Acts 2:9-11). They had come to Jerusalem to celebrate the feasts starting with the Passover. On the day of Pentecost which was yet another festival, they encountered the risen Christ through Peter’s preaching. These listeners were well established, influential, devout Jews who were longing for the Messiah. Remember, making a trip across land or sea would have been an expensive affair. Despite all odds these Jews had taken the effort to make this trip as an expression of allegiance to the Jewish faith. On hearing the gospel of Christ through Peter, they responded and grew in their understanding of Christ.
Therefore when the persecution hit Jerusalem, those who escaped prison or escaped death left the city, and would have most likely headed home, or to safer regions. Approximately 25,000 had left the city of Jerusalem with the message of the gospel on their lips. Given the fact that they were from all nations, the persecution propelled them back to all the nations from where they had originated.
In Acts 11 we see a few of the bolder, unnamed individuals who shared Christ beyond their community and reached out to Gentiles. The persecution did not stop them; neither did the cultural prejudices of the day. They took God at his word and proclaimed the truth to a different community. God blessed their efforts, and many responded.
God can use us even when we are displaced or persecuted to spread His love. Are we bold enough to get beyond our safe havens and break through cultural barriers to share the truth?