New US government program allows citizens to assist in refugee relocation

by Seth Udinski

Seth Udinski, FISM News

On Thursday, the Associated Press announced the creation of a new government-sanctioned initiative to give American citizens the opportunity to help foreign immigrants find a home in the United States.

The initiative, titled the Welcome Corps, is looking to gather 10,000 American citizens to help with the placement of 5,000 refugees from nations that are facing threats of war, violence, and mistreatment.

The group states on its homepage,

The Welcome Corps is a new service opportunity for Americans to welcome refugees seeking freedom and safety and, in turn, make a difference in their own communities. Together, sponsor groups welcome refugee newcomers by securing and preparing initial housing, greeting refugee newcomers at the airport, enrolling children in school, and helping adults to find employment

The State Department said last week,

By tapping into the goodwill of American communities, the Welcome Corps will expand our country’s capacity to provide a warm welcome to higher numbers of refugees.

The initiative seems to avoid the usual political debates and controversies that surround the issue of immigration.

According to the AP’s report, the program will line up sponsors with already-approved refugees in the Refugee Assistance Program, to help the refugees and their families find housing and employment. It will also allow sponsors to look worldwide at potential refugees and connect them to the Refugee Assistance Program, where they can then be matched with an American sponsor

Author’s Biblical Analysis

This touches on a sensitive issue, and one on which Christians need to make sure that we understand the Bible’s imperatives.

While I believe as Christians we must stand against illegal immigration (to obey the laws of the land, so far as they do not cause us to compromise God’s law), I believe we must also be ready to welcome the foreigner and the alien, especially those who come to this country the right way and are seeking help.

This country is a nation of immigrants, and it levels the playing field when we remember how God has built this nation, in His sovereignty, as a place that has served to be a refuge for so many from around the world in the last 250 years.

As a final thought with this report, I believe it should remind us of our standing before God, and how He has welcomed every believer who was once an alien to His kingdom.

Believers, let us remember that in our sinful state, we were once foreigners to the kingdom of God. Like refugees, we were under a threat far worse than war and violence: we were under threat of eternal damnation.

God, who is rich in compassion and kindness, did not turn us away but welcomed us into His home. To take it a step further, He seated us at His table and adopted us as His own, giving us the legal standing of sonship and making us justified in His sight.

The lesson for Christians, therefore, is to show this same Christ-like love to others. We may not ever have the opportunity to welcome a foreign refugee into our midst. But all of us, every day, have the chance to love others the way we have first been loved.

Let us not pass an opportunity by, knowing how greatly we have first been loved!

Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in…  – Matthew 25:34-35

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