Tuesday, September 27, 2011

International Delight

In the last days the mountain of the LORD's temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. (Isaiah 2:2)
Sometimes it feels like I can travel the world just by walking the streets of New York.

I've described living here as a culture shock, and I mean that not just because there's a different culture in the Northeast than in the South, but also because there are so MANY different cultures all in one place! You know, the whole melting pot thing. That should have been a "Duh!" from the beginning, but I guess I'm beginning to see people as belonging to another country or culture rather than just being another New Yorker taking up space on the sidewalk.

I've experienced glimpses of Eritrea, North India, Korea, China, Mexico, Italy, the Middle East, and the Islands... in the food I've eaten, the languges I've heard, and the clothing I've seen!

But the best part of having such a strong international influence here is at church. We have visitors who have never been to a church or read the Bible before! A couple weeks ago we met a girl visiting from Spain who happened to be staying at the hostel where we meet. She asked, "You speak truth. What are you all about?" and suddenly we had an opportunity to be in communication with someone overseas. And a few weeks ago, our Tuesday night Bible study on the Law of Moses was taught by a brother from India (who converted from the Hindu religion). This lesson was on idolatry, and he taught with the insight of someone who has been a part of idolatry in the past and the heart of someone whose entire family is still Hindu. It was powerful!

Thank you, God, for these opportunities. Thank you for the richness we find as we worship with your children from all walks of life and from all over the world. Thank you for the unity we have through Christ!