. Thats what the author of the following article thinks. 
Has he never been to Wilmar or St Cloud ? It is good to want to help legitimate 
refugees in some manner but to bring in groups of people, like more Muslims, would be akin to bringing in people from a leper colony in Biblical times out of compassion. 
Jesus had compassion on those folks but never told us to invite them to dinner. 
In fact the Muslims own teachings are aimed at destroying our civilization. We 
are one of the POOREST Counties in the state now and to ask us to finance this 
GRANTS. They and Region 5 teach that these refugees, esp Muslims, should not 
have to assimilate and that we need to change to suit them especially our 
HOLIDAYS. Read the words from this very liberal local Faith Leader and judge for yourself.

Immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers, let’s educate ourselves

* By Greg Spofford, Faith and Justice Committee.    Printed in the Morrison 
County Record    Apr 22, 2022

How many of us remember our grandparents or elders sharing of coming over from 
the “old country?” We have read or heard other stories of people who came to the 
United States to better their lives?

I remember my dad telling me the story of the village of Spofforth and the 
Spofforth Castle in England. The story goes that the entire village was 
ransacked by William the Conqueror and people fled for their lives.

I suspect each of us has stories like this within our backgrounds. Which makes 
me think and wonder — how is my story any different than the refugees of 
Ukraine, the immigrants of central America, the asylum seekers already in the 
United States but unable to safely return to their country of origin?

The Morrison County Faith and Justice Committee, representing a cross-section of 
faith community members, has been reflecting on this question and has decided to 
open that question up, as well as other questions, for our local citizens to 
ask. On Sunday, May 1, Karyn Blythe, Refugee Resettlement coordinator with 
Lutheran Social Services, Samantha Grimesley, a volunteer with Arrive 
Ministries, and Ayan Omar, an educator with the St. Cloud Schools will be at 
First Lutheran Church from 11:30 a.m. — 1 p.m. to share and help answer 
questions so we can all gain new insights and understanding.

Then, I wonder what does the Bible say about all this? Matthew 25 states, “… For 
I was hungry, and you gave me food, I was thirsty, and you gave me drink, a 
stranger and you welcomed me ...”

In other books of the Bible and in plain language, the Bible says we must not 
oppress the resident alien among us, “for we were once all aliens ourselves in 
the land of Egypt.” God’s instructions to Moses are to care for the refugee, 
immigrant, and foreign stranger.

So, who are today’s strangers — the immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers? 
The World Vision internet site helped me define these terms and gave me greater 
understanding of our sisters and brothers in need:

“We use many different terms today for what the Bible calls strangers, 
foreigners, and sojourners. Here are a few:

Displaced persons — those who have been forced to leave their homes (community) 
due to violent conflict, war or a natural disaster. These people temporarily 
live in another community in their country and usually return home when things 

Refugees — people who have been forced to leave their nation due to violent 
conflict or war. These people want to return to their country once the war or 
conflict is over. These situations often lead to years of displacement.

Migrants — those who have chosen to leave their home country, mainly to escape 
poverty. These people are making a permanent move and would not return unless 
conditions improved significantly.

Immigrants — very similar to “migrant.” Someone who moves to another country for 
any number of reasons, including marriage or other family ties, 
employment/business opportunity, etc. Some distinguish between immigrants with 
legal papers to enter a country and those without legal permission. This would 
not have been a consideration in Bible times.

Asylum seekers — individuals who ask to live in another country to escape severe 
religious or political persecution or another violation of their human rights. 
These people would not return home unless the reason for their move came to an end.”

Wow! Again, my heart goes out to the people of Ukraine, I am reminded that our 
sisters and brothers of Afghanistan and Syria are still displaced in the United 
States, our immigrants of Mexico and Central America are in Minnesota right now 
working diligently to better their lives. Have we been welcoming?

Come everyone, then, to First Lutheran Church, 2100 Riverview Drive in Little 
Falls Sunday, May 1, from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Free refreshments and admission.

God bless you, and our sisters and brothers of immigrant, refugee and asylum 
seeker status.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *