The Crew and what we do.
Meet the crew. You can call us the Cousin Crew.
We aren’t all related as the name might insinuate. We just got our cousins in sight (let the reader understand).
If you’re reading this blog chances are you can read English. I dare say that if you can read this then you might even be able to speak English! Perhaps English is even your first language. Maybe you don’t even have a second.
Well that’s you, then,
هو جيد. لكن هذا ليس كل شخص
Now imagine that last sentence, the one you’re not even sure is a sentence, imagine that’s the world you live in. You got no idea what’s going on and that’s not just for one conversation or day, or week. That’s the land you live in now.
But what happens when you meet another like you.
Amidst the “ اهلا كيف حالك؟ انه يوم رائع. هل تتحدث العربية؟ نظرتم الخلط. Do you speak English?”
Oh what a relief you would feel to hear those last words!
The sense of community and belonging can make a big difference for you. And this is especially so when it comes to interacting with a religious community. This is what Hoxton Park Anglican church is offering by running an Arabic meeting on Sundays. People can interact in their natural tongue, and in ways culturally appropriate for them.
But for once, the team were the foreigners (except for the Arabic student on our team, but he totally cheated by knowing 4 middle eastern languages). For the rest of us, we were clueless, lost, maybe uncomfortable, or bored even.
But that’s no reflection of the meeting of course. It can be said the preacher was objectively very expressive, at least by our standards. But what might be culturally appropriate for them can easily make us feel uncomfortable. The use of images, for example, might at first seem strange. But there’s more going on than we understand.
Now all this certainly makes us think, is this how the foreigner in our churches feels? If so, what can we do to help? Having this experience is a real eye-opener to those around us who are struggling in this way in our churches.
How a cousin became a brother.
After the meeting, we met a cousin of ours who had become a brother. His testimony was a wonderful story of the Lord calling him and guiding him. The circumstances and the dangers were and are real. But the Lord had sent people throughout this time and aligned chance encounters to bring him to Hoxton Park Anglican.
Hearing his story was an experience that’s hard to retell. Things we might not think matter, really mattered to him. Things we might find hard to comprehend and outside our comfort zone were part of his experience and journey of coming to know Jesus. Things like dreams, or the presence of a physical cross.
But after the interview, it can be said without doubt that all were encouraged and stirred to hear of how the Lord is at work in wonderful ways in our world.