Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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An Immigrant's Tale
by Tom Goodman
June 30, 2010

What's the best way to observe our nation's Independence Day this Sunday?  How about with some stories of those who immigrated here?

Most of us have spent all our lives in the United States, but Sunday I'll introduce you to three active members of our church who moved here as adults.  They have some stories to tell about what God has taught them and how God has blessed them through their move to America.

Henriette Shomba and her family moved here from the Democratic Republic of Congo ten years ago, speaking only French.  Her husband, Andre, is a deacon at Hillcrest, and they have four children.  I was at their swearing-in ceremony in 2005 when they became American citizens.

Nora Flores moved here with her husband and youngest son three years ago from Mexico City.  She has just accepted a job teaching Spanish in the Round Rock school district.  I love when they sit behind me and sing the worship songs in Spanish during our congregational singing.  Nora is still a citizen of Mexico.

Mieke Varenbrink is a native of Holland.  While she was a girl, she and her family lived in the Dutch East Indies.  After Japan invaded, she spent time in an internment camp.  As a young adult she emigrated from Holland to the United States.  She attributes her move to America as one of the major factors God used to bring her to himself.

I will interview these three sisters in our 10 a.m. service this Sunday, July 4.  It's a chance to gain a new perspective for, and appreciation of, our American experience.  But it's also a chance to remember again that as believers we hold two passports.  We celebrate the experiences that God has given us as Americans even as we remember we have a far more important citizenship.  To the Philippians (who were as proud of their Roman identity as we are of our American one) Paul wrote, "Our citizenship is in heaven" (3:20).

Join us this Sunday for this special presentation!

Also, don't forget:  It's not too late to participate in our summer "personal mission project."  We're packing in-home health care kits for Baptist Global Response.  Learn more about it, and get the shopping list and packing instructions, here.  Bring it to the Hillcrest auditorium by Sunday, August 1, and add it to the growing stack of buckets on our platform.


Weblog:  Check out my blog, "Get Anchored," with its Links to Your World -- interesting and informative links, posted every Tuesday.

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