“I want to get involved in welcoming immigrants, but…”
We’ve all heard this, right? Or we’ve said it ourselves. It can seem overwhelming to consider getting involved, especially when we are on the outside looking in, so to speak.
Or maybe we’ve been involved for years, but a current circumstance is threatening to take us “out of the game” so to speak, and we don’t know how to keep going?
Whatever our weakness is (the thing that is limiting us from us getting involved or staying involved), let’s look deeper at it–do you know that your very area of weakness can be the place where God comes through for you, to act and intervene on your behalf?
Here are two possible equations:
Our weakness + our worrying and sighing = feeling powerless and stuck
Our weakness + our willingness (expressed to God in prayer) = God’s power at work!
Here’s what I mean by this: Is there something that is holding you back from being more involved in welcoming ministry?
- Maybe it’s the fact that you have tiny kids who take a ton of energy to raise.
- Maybe it’s the fact that your job schedule is unpredictable so you can’t sign up to be a weekly volunteer at anything.
- Maybe it’s the fact that you’re struggling with chronic illness and that you don’t always feel up to doing things after you commit to them.
I don’t know what it is for you, but God does. He knows all your weaknesses–the things that seem to make it impossible for you to be an effective welcomer.
And he is amazingly able to work with your weaknesses, combined with your willingness, to give you creative solutions that you might not be able to think of on your own.
Prayerful brainstorming is a powerful force. Can we try it together today (I need to do it, too)?
- Think of the weaknesses that are limiting you from being more involved in welcoming ministry.
- Ask God to intervene in that very area and show you how you can be an effective welcomer despite your limitations.
- Wait before the Lord (for 5 minutes, for 5 months…) for creative solutions and ideas for how you could be involved welcoming ministry. He will show you.
Your houseful of toddlers might end up as the perfect place for an awesome international playgroup. Your sporadic availability might end up being just enough time to check in with just one international student or family. Your chronic illness might end up being a point of connection between you and many refugees who struggle with similar symptoms. Your weakness combined with God’s power might end up being the very way you are most effective.
I want to close this post with a story from my friend who lives in a rural area where there are very few immigrants. She has a strong desire to be a welcomer and reads my posts faithfully, but has felt frustrated that she cannot seem to FIND people to welcome!
This has been her limitation for quite some time–we’ve literally been praying for years that the Lord would provide for her in this area. And you know what? Recently, I got a wonderful surprise email from my friend: apparently, there is an immigrant woman who came to the US two years ago right down the road!
They met by chance and the woman was so happy to meet someone who was interested in being friends, as she had been dealing with loneliness and had many cultural questions. My friend had her over to lunch the other day and they immediately hit it off–it sounds like there will be many more lunches to come!
His power intervenes in our limitations, in our weaknesses. Let’s express our willingness to welcome and watch Him work to make it possible!
AMEN. His work, not ours.
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