|Photo by JMC Photos|
I recognize that the odds of you reading this are not good. You are tightly packed in refugee camps that are ill-equipped to provide you with adequate food, water, medicine, housing, and more. I doubt that many of you have internet access. Even if you did, it wouldn't be likely that you would discover my little blog. Still, you are on my heart today and I wish to say something to you. And, insha'Allah (God willing), this message might reach one or two of you. Anyway, my message is simple:
I am a citizen of the United States of America and you are welcome here.
Today, I am praying that our government agrees to resettle many of you to our nation. I want you to come. I am deeply saddened by what you have had to endure and by the conditions that you are even now enduring. I am not considered rich by my country's standards. But, I have so much compared to you and I am willing to share.
I am willing to share my money, my time, my nation, and my life with you. And, if the Lord opens the door for you to come as refugees to my country I promise to do everything in my power to welcome you. I will greet as many of you as I can at the airport. I will take you grocery shopping and to medical visits. I will teach you English and help you adjust to life in the United States. I will spend time with you as a friend and try to learn your language and culture. I will learn to love your food. I will listen to your stories if you are willing to tell them to me. Not only this, but I will mobilize and equip as many people as I can to do the same.
Some of you will be concerned that I will try to convert you to Christianity. I should say first that I would never put it in those terms. But, let me be as honest as possible. The Lord Jesus (Isa al-Masih), has changed my life and has given me an overabundance of love, peace, and hope. It is impossible to keep this to myself. I've not had to suffer like you. But, when I have suffered, he has been a constant presence and help. He has always saved me. So, I will certainly pray for you in His name. And I will tell you about His life. And, if you desire to follow Him, I will teach you what I know about how to do that. But, even if you don't. I will still love you and serve you with all my heart. Indeed, I must do this because the love of the Lord Jesus compels me. When I teach you English or pick you up at the airport or take you shopping or eat a meal in your home -- this will all be because of His love.
I cannot promise that every American will welcome you in this way. Many will not. Some will even be afraid of you. But, I will not be. I want you to come!
We have a famous statue in our country called "The Statue of Liberty". You may have seen a picture at some point. On the statue is an inscription which reads as follows:
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses, yearning to breath free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.
This is the heart of our country and also the heart of the Lord Jesus. It has become my heart as well. I hope you will come. I hope America can become your home and I hope you will become my neighbors and friends, my brothers and sisters, my uncles and aunties.
Blessings and peace to you,