Hospitality in a Hostile World

One of the most haunting passages I’ve found in my study of the Bible is in Micah 2. “Woe to those who plan iniquity, to those who plot evil on their beds! At morning's light they carry it out because it is in their power to do it.” Unfortunately, you don’t have to search hard to see this passage carried out in our world. There are those who stay up at night plotting schemes to take advantage of the vulnerable.

You would be hard-pressed to read the headlines of any newspaper or website without seeing the current plight of the immigrant in our country. The effects of the increasing hostility at our borders reverberate across the country for immigrants. They fear leaving the house, going anywhere that may threaten their safety, livelihood, and peace.

Recently, our organization was made aware of a nearby trailer park which is comprised of 90% Hispanic families. The management of the mobile home community informed us that there were many children in the community who had nothing to do during the day. We were eager to respond to the need.

When we began passing out flyers and spreading news about our kids camp, however, it was evident that parents were cautious. In such a tumultuous political environment, they were distrustful of our motives. Why would we want to do this for their kids? Slowly by slowly, parents began sending their kids to our camp. Word spread about the kinds of activities we were doing and how much fun kids were having.

Driving into this mobile home community is a jarring experience. Boarded up windows, multiple families sharing a single-wide trailer, broken down vehicles. If you continue driving, however, you’ll eventually reach a dead-end where our camp is being hosted for dozens of kids in the mobile home community.

Contrasting the dismal scenes you’ve driven through, you’ll be met by the jubilant chorus of children laughing and playing. You’ll witness camp counselors teaching kids about ethics like kindness and service and practicing new skills like music and sports. In contrast to the hostility that immigrants have experienced by and large, we are in the business of hospitality. We may not be able to stop the powerful from staying up late to plan iniquity and evil for the immigrant, but we can combat them by staying up late to plan an amazing summer for these kids.

Our service to immigrants is not an accident or done by happenstance. And it’s not motivated by a particular political stance. It’s motivated by our love of God and our obedience to his Word. Put simply, we want the immigrant to experience the love of God because they are his children.

“When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”