“The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born.” –Leviticus 19:3
Did you know there are unreached people near you … even as close as next door or down the street?
The dispersion of people has often served as God’s way of bringing the gospel to those far from Christ, and He continues to use this method today as foreign-born people move to the United States—often larger cities—for work, education, or refuge.
We have an opportunity to make a spiritual impact among them if we’re willing to forgo our comforts to cross cultural barriers and norms to engage them with the gospel. But first, we need to understand why immigrants, students and refugees are moving here.
In developing countries, livable wages can be difficult to earn.
This leads many people to move to places like the United States for a season or permanently to earn higher wages and support their families. Unlike refugees, immigrants freely choose to leave their home countries in search of financial provision.
In a 2012 report, the United States Department of Labor shared that 16.1% of the United States labor force is foreign born.
American universities are well respected around the world and many nations are eager to send students to the U.S. to obtain the skills and knowledge needed to participate in global business.
According to an Open Doors’ report, in the 2014-2015 academic year there were nearly 975,000 international students studying on U.S. soil—a 10% increase from previous years— making America the largest host of international students of any nation.
Many of these students are from the world’s spiritually darkest countries.
The United Nations defines a refugee as “someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war, or violence.” According to Pew Research, more than three million refugees have arrived in the United States since 1975, and as tensions rise around the world, many will continue seeking peace and refuge within our borders.
Each fiscal year, the United States government determines the number of refugees they will accept. In Fiscal Year 2016, the U.S. planned to accept 85,000 refugees—including 10,000 Syrians—using an extensive screening process.
As the number of foreigners residing in the U.S. increases, so do opportunities for ministry. Click here to learn more about where and why the nations are moving to our neighborhoods and how you can serve among them.