In his September editorial regarding education and immigration, Eric Black makes a strong case for the role of Christians in education and immigration issues, but the connection should reach far further than the public schools and living room conversations. The issues intertwine to create a unique opportunity for the church.
In 2018 alone, Texas became home to 1,692 victims of war and persecution—refugees. In fact, the American Immigration Council reports that one-in-six Texas residents is an immigrant. Many of these people need ESL instruction—a need local churches can meet. And while meeting this practical need, churches can minister holistically, introducing immigrants to a God not bound by borders who loves them unconditionally.
In my 20 years of serving with HOPE Literacy, an organization that assists churches in establishing such programs, I’ve seen churches seize this opportunity “as an avenue for connection,” and as a result, thousands of lives have been transformed.
For decades, the church has mourned how the “10/40 window” is closed to the gospel. However, in recent years, God has smashed that window and brought people—as refugees and immigrants—from those countries and many others to our back door.
Reaching the world with the love of Christ no longer is the domain of foreign missionaries. It’s right here in our communities and rooted in education assistance the local church easily can provide.
Executive Director, HOPE Literacy