Our parents can help us find our place in the world. They can teach us what welcoming looks like. They can show us how to give of ourselves for the sake of others. There are likely as many different kinds of mothering as there are moms. Today, we’re sharing some stories about immigrant moms and their children. We are celebrating all the lessons they offer us in what biblical hospitality and selfless service can look like.
Francis Portillo fled Honduras at age 14, scared and alone. His long story through the immigration process has a happy ending, thanks in part to Brenda and Phillip McGee, who opened their home to him as foster parents. While he was just one unaccompanied minor entering the U.S., there are still thousands monthly arriving at the border. This story reminds us that one family—one person—can make a difference for a vulnerable child.
Lessons in Cross-Cultural Hospitality from An Indian Mother
“When I think about hospitality, I think about my mother,” says Dr. Michelle Reyes, vice President and Co-Founder of the Asian American Christian Collaborative and author of Becoming All Things: How Small Change Leads to Lasting Connections Across Cultures. She shares this moving story of watching her mother have an open home and open door for visitors and travelers.
These beautiful lessons passed down through the generations are also the lessons that Jesus models for us. Reyes reminds us: “Jesus is our best example of how we should view space and giving, and it boils down to this: we must generously invite people into the space of our lives and give of what we have for the sake of the gospel. This is true for anyone we want to minister to, but especially for people of other cultures.”
Standing Between Citizenship and Deportation
Many parents have made the difficult decision to leave their home countries for the chance of a better life for their children. Anaya’s mom brought her from El Salvador to the U.S. when she was five years old. She says her single mother left law school and took jobs as a domestic worker so she could have better opportunities.
Anaya, like hundreds of thousands of young people living in the U.S., many who are now parents of U.S. citizens themselves, are living in limbo. They are Dreamers whose parents brought them to the U.S. as undocumented children and want to stay in the only country they have ever known. This is their story.
The Destiny in Our Daydreams
Tasha Jun, a biracial Korean storyteller who stands in the places where cultures collide, wrote about embracing her God-given ethnic identity over at (in)Courage. This story about seeing the fullness of her mother’s Korean upbringing against the backdrop of her American experience reminds us that our cultures and our identities are all part of biblical welcome. We must embrace our own identities and each others’ as we seek to understand God’s heart for the immigrant and refugee.