Name of the book: Blessed Migrants: A Biblical Perspective on Migration
Author: Samuel Lee
Publisher: Foundation Press
Place of Publication: Amsterdam
Year of Publication: 2012
Reviewed by: J.N. Manokaran
Samuel Lee, a migrant living in Amsterdam and ministering to the migrants has written a book with a lot of insights: Blessed Migrants: A Biblical Perspective on Migration. The author writes in the introduction: “There are approximately 150 million people who live outside the nation countries We call these people migrants. Probably 33 percent of these migrants , in one way or another, Christians.”
He provides scriptural basis for God’s love for migrants; defender of migrants and also would judge nations that mistreat the migrants. Each Christian migrant has a spiritual jurisdiction in the nation he or she has immigrated. “A migrant believer belongs to the Lord’s nation. Therefore, God destines the migrant believer to advance the kingdom of God in the host nation (aka evangelism).” (p.13-14) He challenges Christian migrants to transform from being ordinary migrant to blessed migrant. The author challenges the host churches also to be proactively engaged with migrants. “Blessing the migrant and fellowshipping with them blesses the church in the host nation and makes them prosper.” (p.17)
The author describes Abraham as the Father of all migrants. Jacob is described as cheating and a wandering migrant who was transformed to become a blessed migrant. Ruth teaches the migrants to learn the language, culture and customs of the host nation and serve the nation faithfully. Daniel is described a courageous migrant. Using God given gifts and talents in a righteous way, with integrity and hard work would lead migrants to stand before kings and elite. “Migrants should love and serve the nation in which they live as if they were in their own homeland.” (p.35)
The Filipino, African and Korean migrants and their impact in various parts of the world is well written in three chapters. “The Christians from from those colonized nations are now immigrating to the nations that colonized them to share the life=changing message of Jesus Christ.” (p.27) The author mentions about other migrants but has limited himself to write about these three migrants only.
“Through the Great Commission, Jesus encouraged the disciples to become migrants.” (p.55)
There are some interpretations of world history and church history that seems to be simplistic. Also, the author’s bias towards migrants is evident in exaggeration of certain biblical truths as if specially applicable only to migrants.
The book is a good study on migration. Migrants and host churches would certainly be benefitted by reading this book. This book is a must-read for all Indian Diaspora Christians and for internal migrants within India.