My Immigrant Family


By Thabiti Anyabwile - Posted at The Gospel Coalition:
As a shepherd, I cannot abide the comments our President makes regarding immigrant peoples and their countries of origin. I cannot leave them alone to hear racist barbs, evil speech, incendiary comment, and blasphemous slander against the image and likeness of God in which they are made.
Last night our church family held one of its members’ meetings. We began by hearing the baptism testimony of a Rwandan woman who as a young girl survived that country’s genocide and refugee camps to eventually be adopted by an aunt living in the United States. Jesus used the faith of her mother to keep her through the arrest, torture, and murder of her father and grandfather until that faith would become her own.

We followed the baptism with a report from our first short-term mission team, sent to minister to the largely Muslim population of Mombasa, Kenya. They shared with us the transformative work of the gospel in their lives and in the lives of Kenyans literally living in smoking, fly-infested trash heaps.

As I think about the faces I saw in the room last night, I’m transported around the world. There’s the regal older Nigerian couple sitting directly in front of me. He immigrated to the States first and for more than a decade they lived apart, keeping covenant with one another, until they could be together in their new home building a new life. They are older representatives of a growing part of our church family with connections to Nigeria.

There’s the young Hispanic man, Mexican, I think, who loves the Chicago of his birth as fiercely as any American loves any city. He sits with his wife and their precocious 4-year-old daughter.

Behind them is an African-American woman. She’s married to a Zimbabwean man, a Rhodes scholar, whose intelligence is far surpassed by his humility, gentleness, and genuine affection for people. They have three sons learning to embrace the two heritages their parents represent. ...

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