November Prayer Partner: Giving Thanks for Immigrant Brothers, Sisters and Neighbors

 In Prayer Partner

November 8, 2021

Later this month, most of us will sit down with family or friends for a meal that will include roasted turkey. Gathered around a table, many of us will likely share some things for which we’re thankful, as we recognize God’s abundant provision in our lives.

This Thanksgiving, I hope you’ll also be thankful for those involved in bringing that meal – and the food we eat throughout the year – to your table.

As a Minnesotan, I know that your turkey was more likely to have come from Minnesota than from any other state.  And many of those turkeys are processed in Willmar, Minnesota, where I pastored for some years, home of the Jennie-O Turkey Store.  It’s a wonderful, vibrant community with Scandinavian roots, made more vibrant by the contributions of workers from Somalia, Mexico, and Central America.

Of course, our Thanksgiving tables include menu items from regions and farmworkers throughout the U.S..  And it’s good to remember that roughly four out of every five farmworkers in the United States is foreign-born, including roughly 70% who are undocumented. Most are parents, working hard both to feed our families and their own.

It’s also notable that the great majority of foreign-born farmworkers – roughly 92% –  identify as Christians, including sisters and brothers in Christ like Marisol and Joel Lopez, a Christian couple who work as migrant farmworkers in California’s Central Valley, whose story is told in this compelling short documentary from Christianity Today.

These fellow believers not only help provide for our families through their labor: from a biblical perspective, they are our family, part of a single household, united under one Father, because the walls that once separated us from Him and from one another were torn down by Christ’s death on the cross (Eph 2:11-22).

For those of you who’d like to join other evangelicals for a time of thanking God for immigrants, and for praying that they would be treated justly, I invite you to join the Evangelical Immigration Table’s monthly prayer call on Monday, November 15 at 4 PM ET/3 PM CT. Email to receive the link to join.

This Thanksgiving and throughout the year, I’m thankful, first and foremost, for what Christ has done. But I’m also thankful for my immigrant brothers, sisters, and neighbors upon whom my family and I depend for our most basic human needs.


Steve Eng
Advocacy Director, National Association of Evangelicals

P.S. The NAE will be hosting a free webinar tomorrow, Migration Then and Now: The Bible and Borders, on Tuesday, November 9, with my colleagues Walter Kim and Christine Sequenzia Titus, along with author and noted Bible scholar Daniel Carroll Rodas from Wheaton College and Graduate School, as we consider a biblical perspective on migration. Please register here to join us!

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