"I Was a Stranger"

God has always had a sym­pathetic attitude toward the strangers who were not of the household of faith.

Weley Amundsen, Secretary, North American Missions Committee, General Conference

God has always had a sym­pathetic attitude toward the strangers who were not of the household of faith. His counsel to Israel of old was: "Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were stran­gers in the land of Egypt" (Dent. 10:19).

The inhabitants of North America, aside from the original Indian people, all have foreign ancestry. Our fathers were all strangers and pilgrims in this great land. The past centuries have witnessed the steady flow of immigrants from other na­tions coming to Canada and the United States for the primary purpose of seeking a better way of life. That flow has never ceased, although at times it may have slowed down.                                     
Recent surveys made by the U.S. Department of Justice, Immigration and Natural­ization Service, reveal that "the flow of immigrants into the United States has reached the highest point in thirty years." (U.S. News and World Report, Sept. 27, 1957, p. 126.)
This reliable news journal illustrates the rise of immigration to the United States by a chart that spreads across two pages. In bold letters on this chart are the words, "3 TIMES AS MANY IMMIGRANTS ARE ENTERING U.S. NOW AS IN 1946." Fig­ures indicate that in the last twelve years 2.6 million immigrants have entered the United States. It is estimated that 325,000 entered the country in 1957.
Canada, too, has had a great influx of immigrants in recent years. From 1946 to 1955, Canada admitted 1,222,319 immi­grants. "By the end of 1956, 3,882 Hun­garian refugees had arrived and several thousand more were expected in 1957."—Canada Handbook (1957), p. 34.

God in His providence has brought men to our very doors . . . that they might learn the truth, and be qualified to do a work we could not do in getting the light before men of other tongues.—Evangelism, p. 570.

The idea has prevailed that the work among the European and other language groups in North America is no longer of consequence. Nothing could be farther from the truth. "Look upon the fields." From all parts of the North American Divi­sion come calls for help. Workers are needed who will go among these people and work for their souls. New literature must be printed and sent forth. Radio programs, adapted to their ability to comprehend them, must be prepared and broadcast.

Already there can be seen wonderful avenues of opportunity. In Canada, for ex­ample, there are approximately half a mil­lion people of Ukrainian nationality. Through the influence of radio sermons now being broadcast over several stations, thousands are being awakened to their own spiritual needs. P. E. Uniat, at Yorkton, Saskatchewan, is unlocking doors through this method. He has a list of more than one thousand names of persons who have been reached through the radio work alone. A report from him appears in this issue of THE MINISTRY.

Another great challenge is presented by the steady influx of Spanish-speaking peo­ple from the lands to the south of us. Already we are seeing a steady increase in Spanish membership in the North Ameri­can Division.

Conference administrators, church and district pastors, must be alerted to the times in which we live, and must be prepared to place in the outstretched hands of these strangers among us the spiritual food that will help them to become true children of God.

The messenger of the Lord has left on record these words of counsel:

As I have testified for years, if we were quick in discerning the opening providences of God, we should be able to see in the multiplying opportuni­ties to reach many foreigners in America a divinely appointed means of rapidly extending the third angel's message into all the nations of earth.—/bid.

After you have given something for foreign fields, do not think your duty done. There is a work to be done in foreign fields, but there is a work to be done in America that is just as important. In the cities of America there are people of almost every language. These need the light that God has given to His church.—Testimonies, vol. 8, p. 36.

The souls in China are no more precious than the souls within the shadow of our doors . Evangelism, p. 569.

These words of Jesus may be applicable to every worker who seeks to help these souls to find the truth for these times: "I was a stranger, and ye took me in." As workers together with God, let us re-evalu­ate our responsibility to the "stranger" in our community.

Let us manifest the spirit of Jesus toward all who sojdurn among us.

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Weley Amundsen, Secretary, North American Missions Committee, General Conference

May 1958

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