Standing with the newcomers in Your World

Proclaim Liberty thro’ all the Land to all the Inhabitants thereof.-Levit. XXV. 10

Liberty Bell with praise

     Every year it seems that the debate over immigration reform has gotten harsher and more shrill. Every year some politician on the right or the lft has chosen to capitalize on the emotions running rampant in order to further their own career. For years I have sat quietly on the sidelines hoping and praying that things would just get better. I have worried that anything I say would only add fuel to the fire of raging emotions. But this last year the volume has grown to the level that for once I have decided that I must do the best I can to get involved. Because of our deep invovlement with the communities of various immigrants here in our city my wife and I have had a front row seat to the realities and struggles of many of our friends.

I hope answer to anger with friendship and confusion with facts gleaned from our own personal experience. I love America and my hope and earnest prayer for my country is that she continue to be a beacon of hope. In a discussion with a family member some years back I remembered that my own Grandfather had sailed into New York harbor past the Statue of Liberty to be registered at Elliss Island. “Do you know what is written on the statue?” I asked. No they did not remember. This is part of the very foundation of what America means.

. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”   Emma Lazarus

Here we are in 2014 with mass shootings happening weekly, family foundations being challenged everywhere, the continuing spead of gambling casinos and a drumbeat of demands for the legalization of more drugs. As one radio announcer quipped last year over the debate here in Pennsylvania over deregulating the liquor industry here, “I don’t think our biggest problem is a shortage of beer and alchohol!”

In the same way people have somehow come to believe that somehow their lives will be immeasurably improved if we could just deport 10 or 11 million illegal immigrants back to their home lands. We who call ourselves Christians must never give in to that mindset. Just becasue I find a bad apple in the basket doesn’t make me want to throw the whole bushel to the hogs. There are many good apples and in the posts to come I will be sharing true stories, pictures and an up close and personal look at the lives of our newest neighbors. IMG_3926_crop

All even tempered debate is as welcome as are new ideas and challenges to action! More to come so stay tuned…

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