The Immigrant’s Guide
Immigrants are Missionaries Too
Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”—Genesis 1:28, NLT
Immigrants have a special advantage in reading the Bible, because the story of the People of God represents a chronicle of migration. Since the very creation of humanity, God has sent us into a Holy Mission.
In Genesis 1 God accomplishes the Creation through a series of commands. The Word of God goes into action, declaring the creation of Heaven and Earth, dry land and seas, plants and animals, and finally, human beings created in the image and likeness of God.
After creating man and woman, God declares a mission in the form of a blessing–the Very First Blessing of God on Humanity: “Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it” (Genesis 1:28). This perfect mission brings the act of Creation to its climax, giving humanity a purpose and creating human nature to enable its fulfillment. By nature, human beings would have a desire to give birth to children, migrate throughout the earth, and take dominion over their environment to establish a habitat for their prosperity.
Whoever acts out this God-given human nature fulfills an essential part of the divine mission. That turns every human being into a kind of missionary. Immigrants who fulfill the migration mandate tend to succeed marvelously in the other mandates–having more children than the original inhabitants of their places and working hard to achieve dominion over their environment.
Because immigrants fulfill the mission of God, they remain in God’s Heart. Move on, in God’s blessing!
Copyright©2021 by Joseph L. Castleberry. All Rights Reserved.
Dr. Joseph Castleberry is president of Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington. He is the author of The New Pilgrims: How Immigrants are Renewing America’s Faith (Worthy Publishing, 2015).