When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.
SOJOURNERS | REFUGEES | ALIENS
In Old Testament Scripture, God often reminded his people that they were once foreigners in a strange land. Though he set Israel aside as his chosen people, God never intended for Jews to believe that their national identity made them better than anyone else he created. All of humankind is made in God’s image and is entitled to dignity and care. Thus, God commanded Israel to love and take care of the sojourners among them.
Jesus confirmed that this principle applies to his followers today. In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus used the racial tension between Israel and Samaria to illustrate that everyone, regardless of race or nationality, is our neighbor. We are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, and especially when they are living among us.
People who would be considered 'sojourners' include refugees (people who fled the country of their nationality who are unable to return because of well-founded fear of persecution because of race, religion, nationality, or politics), immigrants (people who left the country of their nationality in order to establish a permanent life here - often out of a desire to seek better economic opportunities, freedom, or safety), and aliens (people who left the country of their nationality to visit our nation temporarily - such as tourists, exchange students, or people conducting business).
In Gwinnett County we encounter sojourners in all walks of life - in our subdivisions, around the community, in our schools and workplaces. A Missional Community can serve as a safe place in which we can invite people of diverse cultures to engage with us. Groups can also serve together at events with our ministry partners. Sometimes people may open their homes to a student or visitor and a Missional Community can come alongside of them.
New City Church seeks out strategic partnerships with organizations that work to meet the needs of sojourners without our community.
Nearby Clarkston, GA is one of the most diverse cities in all of the United States due to the thriving community of international refugees who live there. There are many challenges that face refugee families trying to assimilate into American culture, and Friends of Refugees is a beautiful ministry coming alongside of them with practical support and the gospel message. Our Missional Communities serve together at events throughout the year, and by supporting the individuals and families who have gone through the screening process to get more deeply involved.