As the power hungry grab for votes in this election year 2012, I feel so often that we in the United States have drifted from our calling as a nation. I find myself increasingly uncertain if either party would embrace the words of Lady Liberty:
"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-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
It seems to me that no candidate is able to see the immigrant as anything more than a potential voting bloc. As a nation, we've lost the ability to see those coming to our shores as the strength of a nation and the hope for tomorrow.
And I wonder if the Church in the United States isn't just as guilty. During the past week, I have seen gifts of the Holy Spirit manifest in Bhutanese-Nepalis as we made visits house to house. I have seen the power of God bringing deliverance to bound people during the all-night Ghanaian prayer service. I have heard the testimony of an Indian leader who is in the midst of 40 days of fasting and prayer. I have experienced the presence of the Lord again and again in fellowship with a precious Ugandan sister here for a visit. And, as I reflect, I am fully convinced that God's movement of peoples from everywhere to the USA represents the single greatest hope for revival and renewal and mission that my nation now sees.
May the Lord unveil our eyes to see a fuller picture of what He is doing!
I have linked below to a NY Times article which tells the story of a refugee summer academy that is focused preparing youth for school in the United States. This academy seems to "get" the fact that such students are more than mere object of charity. They are hope and they are the future.
Young Immigrants Helped by Refugee Youth Summer Academy - NYTimes.com: "This year, more than 100 students enrolled in the six-week program, which offered an academic curriculum supplemented by creative-arts classes, field trips and other activities. They hailed from at least 13 countries, including Nepal, Burkina Faso, Iran, Iraq and Cameroon. Some had been in the country for a couple of years; others, like the Diallos, had just arrived. They spoke at least 17 native languages. Some could speak and read English fluently; others could not write their own name in any language. Some had attended school in their home countries; others had never been in a classroom."