By: Martín González, Missionary, Founder of Glocal Adventures and Glocal Bridges
May 12, 2019
We are all familiar with the passage in the New Testament when some people bring a blind man before Jesus and beg for his healing. Jesus spat on the man's eyes and put his hands on him. When asked if he could see, the man responds that he could see people but they looked like trees. We are also familiar with what happened next, Jesus put his hands on the man's eyes and his eyes were opened, his sight restored, and he saw everything clearly. He no longer saw people as trees but as what they really were: people. A second touch from Jesus helped the former blind man to see people clearly.
It has been said that we tend to see others either as people, as machines or just as trees. By nature we tend to see those that are close to us, like family and friends, as people with thoughts and feelings. Then, those people that perform a service to us are seen as machines; we relate to them only as they perform a service to us. Finally, we tend to see the rest of the people as trees, as pure elements of the scenery around us.
By many of us, the foreign born people groups that have come to Texas from all around the globe are seen as trees. We notice them but they are just part of the scenery of our cities. We slowly get use to see them just as we get use to see new commercial buildings, new roads or new neighborhoods. We see them move as they live their lives in our cities but they are still just part of the new scenery.
There are over 200 different people groups represented in Texas. Houston is among the cities that receive the largest amount of refugees. Our Universities receive hundreds of international students each year. The oil industry and the favorable economic environment of our city attracts wealthy businessmen from many nations. The same is true of our worldwide recognized medical center. Besides this, there are at least 32 Hindu temples, 60 Buddhist temples and 50 Islamic mosques.
The Bible clearly teaches us that God loves these people, He created them with a purpose, and longs to see them redeemed by the sacrifice of His Son and in a relationship with Him (1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9). The Bible shows us that God himself brought them to our City so they would seek Him and find Him as He is not far from them (Acts 17:26,27).
God is not far from the many Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims that live in our metropolitan area. In fact, potentially they are closer to know the living God as they are surrounded by many ambassadors of Christ (2 Cor. 5:20). The Lord wants to use us to embrace them, love them, serve them and share the Truth of the Gospel with them. But perhaps we need to ask the Lord to help us see them as He sees them.
Could it be that we are not seeing these people as we should? Could it be that we need to ask Jesus to help us see the foreign born people groups in our city as part of our mission field? Could it be that we need to ask Jesus to put his hand on our eyes again in order to see these people from His perspective?
Father, we pray for the foreign born people groups in our city. Help us to see their need to know the Savior. Give us your heart for them. Help us to see them as you see them and to intentionally do something to point them to Christ.