Archives For immigration

Loving the Stranger

July 5, 2016

While rounding a corner on a run in the United States the other day, I came across a Muslim women clad in a headdress and robes. I could see her cower off the sidewalk a bit as this white, American man came plodding her way in middle America. You could sense her apprehension and read her thoughts of “here we go again.”

I greeted her warmly, commenting on the beautiful day. You could visibly see her relax and the tension leave her body.

I’ve been in her position before. I too have been the foreigner in a land and culture which is not my own. I can relate to wishing I could change my nationality or accent in order to blend in. I wouldn’t wear my USA soccer jersey because of the perception of my nation in South Africa.

As the debate rages on immigration in many nations, I had an up close and personal look at the issue the other day.

My family and I serve as missionaries in South Africa. It was time to renew our visas. The trek to Home Affairs brings dread to the heart of all.

As I entered, I could see a long line of refugees from war-torn and politically unstable African nations. They were seeking asylum and a change of status from illegal to legal.

They are weary. Lines in their faces show a life of hardship and difficulty. They’ve been mistreated in a land supposedly better than home. They are desperate to receive even a hint of grace.

I’m a stranger in a land which is not my own. Intimidation is often a goal in these offices, being both confusing and frustrating. It seems the staff receive training in unfriendliness.

Unique

August 2, 2012

People are Valuable.

Many of the hot issues in today’s society come down to a misunderstanding of the unique and special image of God on humans.

Genesis 1:27 tells us that God created man and woman in the image of God. This gives humans the highest place in God’s created order. They are the most valuable thing on the planet.

Trees, plants, and animals all have value, but what separates them is that they do not bear the image of God.

If we walked in this truth, how would the following issues change?

1. Sanctity of Life. Abortion and Euthanasia are issues that come from not applying this truth. God values the young and old alike. We are able to express this care for mothers who choose to keep their babies. When the church helps with health care and education costs, they value life.