In early 1996, I painted a duplex apartment house in Marshalltown, Iowa. It had two bedrooms and housed eleven or twelve Hispanic laborers who worked at the Swift & Company meat packing plant. Language was a barrier between us, but we communicated somewhat with sign language and a few common words. The laborers were fun loving guys and I enjoyed them.
At the time, the Swift & Company meat packing plant had 2,200 employees, approximately 90% were Hispanic. The union at Swift had been removed ten years earlier in a long strike over wages. Swift ended up advertising in rural Mexico areas for employees. Thus, the influx of Hispanics. Wages were in the $9 to $10/hour range, compared to $15 to $20/hour when the plant was unionized.
The work at the meat packing plant was dirty and dangerous. As for native Iowans, few worked at Swift because of the low wages and dismal working conditions. They chose to work elsewhere. So, by default, Mexican immigrants worked at the plant.
All of this sets the stage for my vision.
One day, I turned to look at the men sitting in the kitchen and had a vision. In it, I saw into the future to a time when America’s economy had tanked. Jobs were scarce. Native Americans who had worked at other jobs were laid off and then needed employment. They saw the Hispanic laborers and hated them for taking jobs away from native-born workers. Large crowds formed. These crowds hunted the Hispanics down, hanging some, and shooting others. Riots broke out with Hispanic men, women, and children being killed.
I knew this vision was not just for Marshalltown or Iowa, but was for all of America.
Today, I prayed:
Lord, I pray we Americans do not oppress the foreigners in our land, but rather, I pray we show hospitality to them, realizing that some of these strangers may be angels. (Based on Jeremiah 7:6 and Hebrews 13:2)
What do you think and has the Lord spoken to you today?
Join with me on Tuesdays to fast and pray for America.