One of the more subtle tragedies of the last several weeks has been a furthering divide between natural-born and immigrant/refugee Americans. The Church is not immune to this and we who call ourselves followers of Christ must be willing to see all others and their circumstances through the lens of the Kingdom of God and to follow the biblical mandate to love our neighbors from among the nations as God loves them.
I am thankful to ERLC for posting this piece. We’ve been using the word “vulnerable” for immigrant and refugee populations long before COVID-19. They need our Christian love now more than ever. My goal in writing was to be as informational and practical as possible with reliable information and solid biblical application. These are expanded thoughts from an interview I did for the second half of a Christianity Today article from April 2020.
THIS is so IMPORTANT to remember: The vast majority of our immigrant and refugee neighbors are not only living and working in the United States legally, but they are extremely proud to be called Americans. They are growing contributors to our nation, culture, and communities with every passing day they live here. At the same time, their needs can easily be overlooked in times like these when the gaps between social circles are disproportionately wide.
It is also important to note that many recent policies regarding immigration have hit our immigrant and refugee population hard. In addition, most are ineligible to receive coronavirus stimulus even if they are working in the U.S. legally. Many work right alongside American-born people who are eligible to receive the stimulus funds. In response, the “Share Your Stimulus” movement encourages people who continue to receive paychecks or have a stronger financial foundation to use their coronavirus stimulus funds to help those who are struggling financially.
Many of us who work with this population regularly have felt quite powerless to stem the tide of harsher policies enacted in recent months towards immigrants and refugees. That does not mean, however, that we will remain silent about these things or pull back in any way from our ministry to those with whom we are already connected.
On the contrary, we believe the gospel opportunities among our immigrant and refugee neighbors have never been greater than in the last few years. How much more so these last few months?! Imagine what would happen if we made our most courageous commitments yet to share the love and hope of Christ during this season of such high insecurity.
As the article states, “We can demonstrate the love of Christ to our immigrant and refugee neighbors by helping to meet their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs in his name, and share with them the most important message they could ever hear.”
Read the FULL article.