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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.