You have probably heard about caravans of people, forming in Central America and travelling to the US border, and then crossing into the US and claiming to be refugees. You might have also heard that many refugee claimants decide that the US does not have what they need, and then cross into Canada.
That might have stopped, with the COVID crisis. Governments can say that they are keeping people out for health reasons. If the COVID crisis declines enough, that route for migration will start again.
There are other migrant routes. People travel across the English channel to Britain in small boats, usually from France. They also want to live in a new country, and thousands are trying. Some find a boat with room for them, and cross over to England, or drown. I have crossed the channel on large ferries, and once on a large hovercraft. That was interesting for me, but I would never want to sail in those rough waters in a small boat.
There are also people who travel from Africa, across the Sahara Desert, and then sail in small boats from countries like Libya to European countries like Italy. Many of them drown, also.
Very recently, a crisis started in Europe, when thousands of migrants, mostly from the Middle East and Central Asia, travelled to Belarus, on the border with Poland, and tried to cross into Europe. Poland has sent troops to the border, and the migrants are being held back, as the Russian winter starts. At least one has died, recently, in the cold.
Also, the US Government reports that forty five thousand children, who migrated into the country without permission, have now disappeared. They are probably in the country somewhere, but the authorities can’t locate them. And there are many other routes, and crises, and the problem is growing.
About thirty years ago the world experienced the largest migration in history. This surprised me; many millions of people in China moved from country areas, into big cities. China has more people than any other country, and the relocation was epic, and most of us missed it.
We wont miss the next move.
We have a situation like a pot boiling on a stove, with some steam and hot water seeping out. Under the lid is much more water, and it is boiling hard. The pressure is growing. The few thousand migrants who get into the news are the first few drops, and they show us that millions of people in the world are unhappy with their lives, and want to move.
We may see many thousands at a border, soon.
Everyone has an emotional opinion about the migrant crisis, also known as illegal immigration. Some people support the migrants, and others see a threat to their own security and prosperity. We could all argue, but there are other questions that we should try to answer.
What is wrong with our world? Why do so many of us desperate to start a new life, in a new place? Why isn’t the old life good enough?
‘Wandering’ on the Earth is a minor theme in the Bible, if we read carefully. It is described as a sign that we are at the end of this age in history. The prophet Daniel was told “Shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” (Daniel 12: 4) That man who knew so much about the future was told to stop telling us what he knew. The signs we were given were, migration and knowledge. We have the migration, or it is beginning. We also have modern technology and we know more than we ever did before, at any time in history.
The knowledge drives the migration. People believe that there is something better for them, across a border. Technology, like cell phones and the Internet, give them the information. People may have misinformation about other countries, but they believe what they learn, and they are willing to travel. Older generations lived in small communities and didn’t know about the wide world. That has changed now; knowledge really has increased.
There is a dark side to our new knowledge. People are becoming very unhappy with tradition, the world is becoming unsatisfied. Knowledge gives us that.
Modern materialism, greed, may seem like a good replacement for traditional lifestyles, in poor villages, but it is a false god. Human restlessness shows that we have lost simple truth that can keep us content. We have a pandemic of discontent, and we can’t find a true answer.
Migration and knowledge; the Bible prophets were correct about us, more than two thousand years ago. I used to wonder about those Bible words, but they make more sense every time I read the news:
“The time is surely coming,” says the Sovereign Lord, “when I will send a famine on the land, not a famine of bread or water but of hearing the words of the Lord. People will stagger from sea to sea and wander from border to border, searching for the word of the Lord, but they will not find it. Beautiful girls and strong young men will grow faint in that day, thirsting for the Lord’s word.” (Amos 8: 11 to 13)