My takeaway from that Bible study topic was that we Christians are immigrants in this world. Unfortunately, some of us will be mistreated and picked on for being different (Romans 12:2). It is encouraging to see Christian organizations like Bibles, Badges & Businesses, G92, the Evangelical Immigration Table, among others, calling for comprehensive immigration reform because they have realized that some immigration laws are draconian and unjust. These Christians are willing to forgive and bestow grace upon us law-breakers, just like Christ forgave them and bestowed grace upon them when he washed their sins away.
There are many ways to debate immigration, but when it comes to economics, there isn’t much of a debate at all. Nearly all economists, of all political persuasions, agree that immigrants — those here legally or not — benefit the overall economy. “That is not controversial,” Heidi Shierholz, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute, told me. Shierholz also said that “there is a consensus that, on average, the incomes of families in this country are increased by a small, but clearly positive amount, because of immigration.”
For one thing “Truth” is not rational abstraction — a concept, doctrine, or idea you can write down — especially not one which you conveniently have right and everyone else conveniently has wrong. Truth-as-a-rational-abstraction constitutes a denial of the incarnation (and big chunks of the New Testament). Doctrines and theologies can point to the truth but they are not themselves the Truth. The Truth has been revealed to us in and through Jesus Christ. Truth is a person. Jesus is the Truth.
We are tired and we are cold, and we are looking for a reason to come.
Be the reason.
Light a candle. Take our hand, and walk with us.
Remind us what Jesus looks like: arms open, eyes full of love. Help us see him there, sitting with us in the anger, waiting.
Help us. Love us. Join us. And, maybe, we’ll find our way home.
I’ve learned that many missionaries carry a high level of guilt and pain. There is lingering pain over the losses that came with their service and the events they missed back home. There were the funerals and weddings missed, children born and graduated, life-marking events they can’t ever get back. There is also the unresolved pain over the neglect and mistrust of the overseeing churches who ignored them for years and then questioned their integrity and work ethic. Then there is the guilt over what serving cross-culturally did to their family. So often, the harm done to their children doesn’t come out for ten, twenty, or thirty years. By the time they learn about it, there is little that can be done. There are too many stories of the abuse of children by domestic servants or school officials. Add to this the guilt over what they didn’t know in time and the people they might have reached if they had known better sooner. It is haunting at times.
Wagasky, 28, lives with her her husband, Jason, 31, and their two young children in a three-bedroom family home in Las Vegas, Nevada. While Jason, a member of the U.S. Army, completes his undergraduate studies, the family’s only source of income is the $14,000 annual cost of living allowance he receives under the G.I. Bill. Despite all odds, the family has barely any credit card debt, no car payment, and no mortgage to speak of.