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Most Christian Ministries Embrace Call to Love the Stranger

Rev. Moses Lin’s greatest joy is serving the congregants of his 100-member church, Christian Evangelical Mission International, in Queens, New York.

“Serving God is what makes me most proud. Helping people to improve their quality of life is what I like best,” says Rev. Lin, whose given first name is Sen Liang.

He certainly understands their struggles. Rev. Lin immigrated to the United States from China in 2006, and the majority of his congregants are also immigrants from Asian nations, including China, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Hong Kong. When they relay their struggles to learn English or pay rent, he empathizes. Just as importantly, Rev. Lin can often speak to congregants in their native language, since he is fluent in both Mandarin and Fuzhounese Chinese.

Immigrants have contributed a lot to this society, so our leaders should focus on immigration policies that help improve their situation.

Today, immigrants play a major role in the American Christian community. About 61 percent of new, documented immigrants are Christians, according to the Pew Research Foundation. A November 2016 survey by the National Association of Evangelicals found that 53 percent of evangelical leaders say their churches have immigrant or refugee ministries. “While immigration reform and refugee resettlement continue to be discussed in Washington, DC, churches across the country are finding tangible and heartfelt ways to love the stranger,” said Leith Anderson, the association’s president.

Rev. Lin came to the United States to attend the Evangelical Bible Institute in Towaco, New Jersey, where he studied theology for 3 1/2 years. He went on to complete his master’s degree there, and plans to pursue a Doctor of Ministry degree, as well.

To that end, he now attends English as a Second Language classes four mornings a week. “I want to improve my English, so I can help more people in the United States,” he says.

When asked if there is anything he’d like to see improved about the U.S. immigration system, Rev. Lin says he’d like to see more assistance for those trying to improve their lives. “It would help if the government gave legal immigrants more opportunities, such as language classes, technical training, and career opportunities,” he says. “Immigrants have contributed a lot to this society, so our leaders should focus on immigration policies that help improve their situation.” In addition, Rev. Lin says there is a Biblical imperative too: “I think we should welcome and help any stranger.”

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