Friday, May 23, 2008

Shrinking World

People have been very friendly thus far. In Jo-berg I met a lady who grew up in Zim, and runs a "online community for Zimbabwean activists." Later, on the last leg of my flight, I spoke with the regional programme officer to the embassy of Sweden. It was amazing to see such a great diversity of people in such a short time. Just a few days ago I was walking in downtown Chicago, and now Chi is sitting on the other side of the the globe. I have already witnessed so many culture groups already - a group of nuns, a Zambian boys cricket team, a middle-eastern man with a long, distinctive beard. We live in such a huge world, yet it feels as if it is shrinking.

Once at the guest house there was much to learn. The brown, "flat backed" spiders in the house are good....they eat the other bugs. The light switches are backwards compared to what I am used to. Don't use American electronics without a converter. The toilet will flush only when there is water available. Don't call it a bathroom unless you want to take a bath. As an ignorant American, don't ever wave with an open hand or raise a fist in the air - only give the thumbs up sign. It is important to learn the Shona tribal language.

Though the world may be shrinking, there is still much to learn. It has been an encouragement to be around so many people from different backgrounds and cultures, and yet still feel welcomed. Maybe, as the world continues to shrink, we should make it a priority to share the love of Christ by welcoming those that are different than ourselves. Over the last few years I have come to find that the more people I meet, the more like family the stranger becomes.

(Mark 12:28-31)

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