By Lisa Gibson, Concordia
University, St. Paul
“I don’t know enough,” I say. I speak English fluently, but there is no way I could be in charge of helping someone else to learn. How will I teach without the perfect curriculum? I’m not fluent in Spanish, either. How will we communicate? Clearly, if I can’t even teach another language, it’s not possible for me to tell them about Jesus. I just don’t know enough.
“I don’t know enough,” the immigrant families say. My children speak English better than I do, but I’m still in charge of providing for them and raising them to be good daughters and sons. Moving to the United States meant our family would know security. Why is life still difficult? Undoubtedly, life would be easier if I knew more English. I wish I could learn.
“I, the Lord of sea and sky, I have heard my people cry. All who dwell in dark and sin, my hand will save. I, who made the stars of night, I will make their darkness bright. Who will bear my light to them? Whom shall I send?” 1
The Lord sent me. He sent me to the immigrant families of the Twin Cities, despite my feelings of inadequacy. In November and December, I assisted with an English class meeting in a home in Bloomington. Several families met at the house, and I was able to watch the kids while the moms had class. God gave me the opportunity to talk about the meaning of Christmas with one girl in particular. She got to hear that God loves her so much that He would come to Earth and live as a human so that we could know Him completely. Her quiet older sister sat nearby, not involved in the conversation, but I know she heard the message, too.
There are thousands of other immigrant families who are hoping to find the kindness of their neighbors. We who know that our security is not built on the name of our nation, but on the Lord, are called to share the peace that passes all understanding. God is sending out all of us to be a redemptive presence in our neighborhoods.
“Here I am Lord. I will go Lord. I will hold your people in my heart.”
Lisa Gibson is a junior student at Concordia University, St. Paul. She assists Deaconess Luz Guerrero with outreach to Spanish-speaking women and children in Bloomington. This ministry is made possible by a partnership with the Minnesota South District, The Hoffmann Institute, and Woodbury Lutheran Church.
- Excerpt from “Here I am, Lord.” Words and music by Daniel L. Schutte, copyright 1981.