Leith Anderson and opportunity of immigration.

I had the privilege  of sitting down with Leith Anderson for a nice chat last month at Lausanne Congress in Cape Town. Part of that interview will be published by Outreach Magazine early next year and I hope you will read it then.

I discovered that Leith, despite being a VIP-BIG-WIG-kinda guy who leads a megachurch and is  President of the National Association of Evangelicals, blah blah blah . . . despite all that . . .  he actually turned out to be a decent fellow. And we had quite an enjoyable talk that got somewhat emotional at times. He really is a human being and a nice one at that. And the same goes for Leith’s wife, Charleen. Can’t say that about every high-profile evangelical leader but I can say it about the Andersons.

One of the things he said to me I want to repeat here because I have been talking a lot about international students, immigrants, and the fact that Thanksgiving in USA is a time where a lot of those international visitors in USA find their way to a dinner table in a Christian household. Maybe even yours!

“The American church has been large and powerful and influential and in many ways richly blessed by God. But now we are realizing that we need renewal and much of that renewal is coming to our shores by immigrants from other nations . . . Many are coming from the places where God is doing his greatest thing in the 21st Century. So we need to learn to receive as well as to send.” Leith Anderson

So maybe at Thanksgiving next week, as well as enjoying a slow and kind Thanksgiving, you might consider inviting some international guests to join you. They have probably already seen Richie Cunningham enjoy Thanksgiving on Happy Days and they will be thrilled to eat with you. Many have never been in a Christian home but others might be spiritual leaders in their homeland and they might even be bringing a gift to your family that you are not expecting. I hope both will find a welcome.

If you don’t know how to make contact with international students in your area, ask the people at ISI.


Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.

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