What if the Great Commission, instead of being a mandate for the few who are called to foreign missions, is a mandate for the personal obedience of every believer wherever they live? For centuries, the church has prayed for the nations to come to know Christ. What if the Lord, by bringing the nations to us, is saying, “Here you go. Here’s your opportunity.”?

What if immigrants are the answer to our prayers? As we consider the possibility that God is using immigration to the US to accomplish His purposes, let us choose to respond positively and with godly enthusiasm to the call of Jesus who said “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”

Pat Hatch is the MNA Refugee and Immigrant Ministry Director.

8 Responses to What if Immigrants are the Answer to Our Prayers?

  1. David Nakhla says:

    Thank you, Pat! This is an invigorating challenge…and opportunity! So well-articulated!

    • Pat Hatch says:

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, David! I look forward to seeing what more the Lord will do through those churches and individual believers that respond to His clear admonition to love the stranger. I”m convinced that He can and will use new immigrant believers to reinvigorate our local churches and make our global missions more effective if we act in obedience to Him.

      And we have so much to learn from those refugees and immigrants who arrive in the US as committed Christians. Many have suffered deeply for their faith, and have much wisdom to share.

  2. Bob Allen says:

    Not mitigating the legitimacy and wisdom of ongoing policy discussions, this is absolutely the correct way for the Church to view those being brought to the United States.

    Thanks to our senior teaching elder, my fellowship (PCA) has had this vision for some time, and recently opened a center in a key area of Nashville reaching out to as many as nine different language groups–if they’re here, we need to love them.

    • Pat Hatch says:

      Glad to hear this, Bob! Are you referring to Crossroads of the Nations in Brentwood, or another program? I’d love to know more about the work your senior teaching elder and your PCA fellowship are doing. Can you please contact me directly at phatch@pcanet.org, or ask him to do so? And I hope that you’ll both visit the ministry Facebook page where I periodically post resources and opportunities that might be of interest: https://www.facebook.com/MNARefugeeAndImmigrantMinistry/

  3. David A.Williams says:

    I have not noted anti-immigrant sentiments amongst my fellow Christians and PCA members. We are concerned about illegal aliens, those who broke the law when they entered our country. It is not unChristian to expect our immigration laws to be obeyed and enforced..

  4. Pat Hatch says:

    I understand your concern, David. Laws are important and nations do have the right to maintain borders. More than 70% of the immigrants in the US are legally present. At least half the remaining 30% entered the US legally but overstayed visas. Some of the rest are the immediate relatives of US citizens or legal permanent residents, with pending applications for immigrant visas, but caught up in years-long backlogs.

    Since believers are first of all citizens of heaven, might God not expect us to view every person, regardless of status, as someone created in His image, for whom Christ died, and – whatever laws we advocate – to “love them while they’re here” in Christ’s name, as another commenter suggested? Feel free to contact me…

  5. Larry DeBert says:

    Thank you for the article.
    All 4 of my grandparents came to this country and were sponsored by a Dutch Reformed Church in the 1880s and 1890s from the Netherlands.
    After the Hungarian Revolt of 1956, the Orthodox Presbyterian Church we were part of sponsored about a dozen families who were part of the Hungarian Reformed Church.
    There are Presbyterian Churches in Iran and Pakistan who have been under attack, there must be some way that the PCA could help these Christians resettle in this country.

  6. Pat Hatch says:

    Thank you for your comments, Larry. Three of my 4 grandparents were immigrants also. America has a rich immigrant heritage, and remembering this is a powerful incentive to welcome refugees and immigrants today. PCA churches who are aware of specific persecuted believers in Iran, Pakistan or elsewhere may want to get the advice of a reliable immigration counselor concerning any possible options of assisting. Feel free to contact me at phatch@pcanet.org for further information.