The Stranger at Our Shore Review

Book Review: 

This slim, easy-to-read book is an appeal to the church to welcome immigrants into the family of Christ. Joshua Sherif’s Christian mother escaped from Islamic Egypt with Joshua and his sister. After arriving in the USA, they were welcomed into a local church family and through that experience, Joshua chose to leave Islam and follow Christ. Currently Sherif serves as a pastor in a multi-cultural neighborhood in Chicago, giving him the unique perspective of having experienced both being a stranger and also welcoming strangers.

In the first section of the book, Sherif tells his story of leaving Egypt and coming to the USA. In the second section, he addresses three reasons believers may be slow to welcome the strangers on our shores, particularly those of Muslim faith: Inadequacy, Ignorance, and Indignation. One of the most challenging things for me came in the third section, in the chapter about love. It is relatively easy to give time and resources to the “needy” without becoming involved in relationship. It is more difficult to truly love and welcome them as family, to need what they have to offer as well as to be needed. Sometimes it feels too complicated and messy, but Sherif offers an encouraging and hopeful reminder that it is not only possible, but truly our Great Commission. Each chapter ends with questions for reflection and room to write notes, lending the book well to group discussions.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher (Moody) in exchange for my unbiased review.