Welcoming is the process of intentionally extending love, service and hospitality to the foreign-born immigrants, refugees and international students God has sovereignly placed in our midst. Some come temporarily; others settle in the US permanently. Many Americans fear overcoming language and culture hurdles, and never engage with these folks. Others are simply afraid of people different than they. As such, many of these new residents and guests never develop a relationship of depth with an American.
Most foreign students and immigrants have never had the opportunity to develop a friendship with a Bible-believing Christian. Even living in the United States, most of them will never see the inside of an American Christian home. Most of them don’t really know the Christian meaning and roots behind national observance of Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
English tutoring, community orientation, legal immigration advocacy and assistance are all big areas of need. Foreigners really appreciate extension of “welcome” and aid in just finding out things we take for granted:
Where are the best grocery stores?
How can I get my car fixed reliably?
Where do I go to get medical help? Regular checkups?
How do I get a library card? Drivers license?
What are reasonable and secure banking services?
Helping (or not helping!) our foreign visitors, friends, students, and immigrants can leave an indelible impression for the sake of the Gospel and the cause of Christ. Students, especially, will go back to their home country and become leaders in government and industry. Lovingly sharing life and the Gospel with them here can have huge dividends in potentially reaching into their home cultures, without you ever leaving home.
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