How to be a friend to an immigrant
“Treat the foreigner the same as a native.
Love him like one of your own.
Remember that you were once foreigners in Egypt.
I am GOD, your GOD.”
There are many ways to begin but there’s no better way than learning from them.
.1. Questions about the listener’s background
“What prompted your move to (USA, Canada, etc)?”
.2. Questions that ask the listener’s opinion or advice,
“Where are you favorite places to eat in your area?”
.3. Questions that involve the listener’s imagination or ask for their emotions?
“How to do feel about the school your children are attending?”
.4. Discover the joy of practicing acts of kindness:
Surprise the new neighbor with a plate of homemade cookies or a potted plant.
.5. Find a need and meet it:
Are they in need of ESL classes? Refer them to local schools or church programs.
Do the need help with childcare? Refer them to a list of trusted babysitters or watch their children for a few hours.
Are they going through some crisis as a family? Reach out with a simple gesture, such as a card or a phone call, expressing care and offering prayer.
.6. Invite them over for a cup of coffee or tea – in your home or a coffee shop.
.7. Take an interest in their culture: Learn a phrase or two in their language or discover a tradition from their culture and ask them to explain it to you.
Used with permission: from ‘Women’s Heart-Engaging Network‘, A ministry of Power to Change Canada