President Donald Trump has been awfully critical of the United States’ immigration policy long before he won the election in November 2016. Trump believes that a weak policy will enable terrorists easy access into the country. Although this is certainly a valid concern, many think the president is being too heavy-handed.
Regardless of what your position is on immigrants and refugees, Christians have a higher calling that supersedes government policy. We are called to “love our neighbor as ourselves,” and that includes those that are foreigners in our land. In fact, if you think about it, Christians are also considered foreigners in a strange land.
Take a look at the following 3 ways that Christians can demonstrate the love of Christ to our immigrant neighbors.
Find Ways to Serve Locally
If you’ve ever visited a foreign country, you know how uncomfortable it can be to feel out of place. Not knowing the language, locations, or people can be very intimidating. As soon as you run into someone that speaks your language or is also visiting from out of the country, you immediately feel relaxed and more like yourself.
Immigrants typically spend time in areas and locations with people just like them. Human beings are very homogeneous no matter where they are from. Look for ways to volunteer or work in areas that will allow you to interact with immigrants in an environment in which they are comfortable.
Take part in an ESL class or help a local church plant that is specifically located within a community of immigrants. Look into helping at a resettlement agency in order to understand what these folks are looking to gain and achieve while living in America.
Consider Financially Investing in Their Lives
It’s important that you are a wise steward of your finances, so make sure you aren’t neglecting your family’s needs. However, perhaps you have some money saved up from either a good year at work, or maybe God has given you more financial surplus than you know what to do with. Consider investing it into your immigrant neighbor.
One suggestion is to look into purchasing property or real estate and offer affordable housing for those immigrant neighbors in need. Let’s be honest, living in the United States isn’t cheap compared to the places that immigrants and refugees are escaping from. If you can help, you should consider doing so.
Develop Unconditional Relationships
Walking through life alone can be tough, especially when you feel no sense of identity. Through community involvement (volunteering) and financial sacrifice, you can begin to form deep relationships with immigrants and refugees with no strings attached.
It’s important that you display unconditional love because this is the only love that Christ knows. It’s vital that we demonstrate nothing less. Eventually, there will come a time when your immigrant neighbors will need to feel independent and able to support their families on their own.
This doesn’t mean you hold your efforts over their heads. You continue to love them by watching after their kids or talking with them after a long, hard day.
Time, money, and love work well together. Make sure you use them to help foreigners in the United States become fellow foreigners of the cross. It will take a lot of effort and sacrifice, but when we look unto Jesus, that’s all he ever displayed toward us: “Go and do likewise.”