Have you or a family member ever been an immigrant/refugee? (see definitions)

Discussion in 'Forum for Polls' started by Baptist Believer, Sep 8, 2015.

?

Please refer to the definitions in the body of the original post.

  1. I have personally been a refugee.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. I have personally been an immigrant.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. I am the daughter/son of a refugee.

    16.7%
  4. I am the daughter/son of an immigrant.

    33.3%
  5. At least one family member within the previous generation has been a refugee.

    33.3%
  6. At least one family member within the previous generation has been an immigrant.

    58.3%
  7. I have personally, or with others, provided humanitarian/educational assistance to a refugee.

    50.0%
  8. I have personally, or with others, provided humanitarian/educational assistance to an immigrant.

    41.7%
  9. I get frustrated when I hear someone speaking a language other than English in public.

    8.3%
  10. My church organizes activities to minister to refugees/immigrants.

    50.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer
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    With all of the endless talk about immigration over the past few years - including a lot of expertise offered about the nature of refugees/immigrants - I was wondering how many people actually had personal contact with refugees/immigrants.

    So we won't get bogged down over the meaning of words, here are our working definitions:

    ref·u·gee
    ˌrefyo͝oˈjē
    noun


    a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.

    im·mi·grant
    ˈiməɡrənt/
    noun
    a person who comes to live permanently in a foreign country.
    synonyms: newcomer, settler, migrant, emigrant;


    Providing assistance can come in many forms, including things like providing blankets for immigrant shelters or teaching ESL (English as a Second Language).
     
  2. JohnDeereFan

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    No, but having lived in Delaware, I know many border criminals. Having a home in WPB, I know many, many Mexicans who are probably not legal and many who have been here for years and have no desire to learn our language or assimilate.
     
  3. Baptist Believer

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    I realize that none of the questions may apply to you. If they do not, please note, "I cannot respond affirmatively to any of the questions" in a reply.
     
  4. Revmitchell

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    I pastored a church in Wauchula Florida where the community is or at least was about 66% illegal immigrants. During hurricane charlie I opened the church to them. Many came late and were injured. I fed them and entertained the kids during the storm. I took a lot of heat from church members for doing that.

    About a weak or so later I allowed radio stations to rally trucks full of clothes, water and food to come and distribute. Other SBC churches came and cooked food on the grill. The radio stations broadcast from there. We had, I am guessing, around one thousand people there that day.

    Our church members were elderly, anglo, and non-spanish speaking. Not much else we could do at the time.
     
  5. Rolfe

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    .........................
     
    #5 Rolfe, Sep 8, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 8, 2015
  6. wpe3bql

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    The Nashville TN area has been considered by both the US State Department and other various federal immigration and/or refugee agencies to be an area to which persons who've been victims of ethnic, religious, political or economic discrimination can come to, and, in some cases, actually receive some forms of governmental assistance.

    Most of these immigrants have chosen to come to Nashville because the city generally affords more opportunities for finding housing and employment opportunities that may be available to them.

    This move by the federal, and in some cases the state, government has not always been received very well by the general public in Music City USA.

    Occasionally I read of protests by some long-time residents [people who've lived in the area for more than about 50-60 years], and whenever there's an outbreak of ethnic violence against rival ethnic groups for power or control of certain neighborhoods.

    Even though both groups are considered as refugees, they often times bring their hatred along with them when they arrive here in Nashville.

    At my church ( www.lighthouseministries.org ), we look at this vast inflow of refugees from different parts of the globe as a challenge to reach these folks with the gospel of Christ. Many of these folks come from areas where the gospel is either totally unknown, or it's attacked by their native governments as simply a way to "impose American values" on their people.

    Two specific challenges that we Christians face in this area are finding people who'll translate our witnessing conversations with them, and finding folks who will put aside their anti-foreigners biases and go out to these people.

    It's taken us some time to overcome these hurdles, but we're now beginning to see the tide starting to change as our members are beginning to realize that God is moving these ethnic people groups into our neighborhoods so that they can hear the gospel of Christ and subsequently receive Him as their own personal Savior.

    Our church has done this in two specific ways.

    First, we've established what we call the BRANCH--which is an ancronym for Bring Real Answers to Needs with Compassion and Hope.

    The BRANCH started out as--and still is--a food pantry for those who live in the SE Nashville area--which is where our church is located.

    Each month these refugees can get for free a certain amount of food based on the number of people in their families and the amount of income each family makes. These standards are established by the federal Agriculture Department.

    As often as I can, I volunteer to serve at The BRANCH. Up to 60 families will line up for food with which we graciously give them. I wish I could talk with all of them, but my knowledge of Arabic, Farsi, or Hindi is very limited.

    OTOH, a warm smile is a universal way of communicating with them, so at least I can give them a smile, and sometimes they'll let me love on their children.

    The other way we've reached out to these folks is by having foreign Christian congregations meet either directly on our church's campus such as we've done for our Ethiopian and our Korean folks, as well as for our Laotian and Thai folks and for our Hispanic congregations that meet on some of our property only a mile away from our main campus.

    All told, every Sunday we have at least 5 Christian congregations from 3 different continents worshipping the same Jesus who died for them.
     
  7. Carolina Baptist

    Carolina Baptist
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    Not since the mid 1600s. We got run out of England.
     
  8. FriendofSpurgeon

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    Wow. Great post. It's always great when you see the church being the church.
     
  9. TCassidy

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    I am a first generation American. My father immigrated to this country in 1924.

    For the past 35 years I have lived within a stone's throw of the Mexican border.

    In those 35 years our churches (the one I pastored in San Diego and the one in Texas where I now serve) have had very active ministries feeding, housing, clothing immigrants, and providing ESL classes.
     
  10. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson
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    In the early 90s, my (now) wife and her family immigrated to the US as refugees under the Jackson-Varnik Amendment. She and her family are Evangelical Christian-Baptists.
     
  11. kyredneck

    kyredneck
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    I suppose 'I am the daughter/son of a refugee'. Dad's family basically fled for their safety from the mountains because of a feud over bootlegging rights. My grandfather threw his lot in on the wrong side of a sheriff's election, his brother, a constable, was ambushed at night and killed, and then he was 'visited' by the winning sheriff. Two weeks later they relocated to the county I grew up in. I never suffered from being a 'refugee', but Dad's family most definitely did, especially my granny. I never found all this out till later in life, it sort of explains why she always had a sadness about her.
     
  12. Baptist Believer

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    Thank you for the responses so far. Among those that have responded to the poll, a small number have had direct, immediate family experience with the refugee/immigrant experience - which is not unexpected. I am very pleased to see that many of you have direct experience working with refugees/immigrants and have ministered to them as Christ's body.

    Please keep the stories coming!
     
  13. Baptist Believer

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    Did she and her family face also religious persecution, or was it simply because of the repressive government?
     
  14. Squire Robertsson

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    The persecution of Evangelical Christian-Baptists is well documented. Her father spent time in prison for refusing to be a KGB snitch. A sister in law's grandfather was shot in 30s.

    In the US many are familiar with the name Georgi Vins. I suggest you look him up on wiki. The wiki article on Gennadi Kryuchkov is also informative.
     
  15. SaggyWoman

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    My father immigrated to the US as did my uncle. Both became US citizens by helping in the WW2 effort.
     
  16. tyndale1946

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    I guess if we all check our history unless we are Native Americans we all came over on the boat?... Brother Glen
     
  17. FriendofSpurgeon

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    My wife's family left everything behind when they fled Castro's Cuba and escaped to the USA when she was a young child.
     

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