DOWN MEMORY LANE | Reflections on the International Nature of our Family

May 16, 2023 | English

Today’s Journal, October 9, 2018

Reflections on the International Nature of our Family

Some interactions moved me yesterday to reflect on something I sometimes tend to take for granted – the blessing of belonging to such an international family of believers.

Talking to two brothers who saw me wearing spiritual diapers some 26 years ago, left me with an extraordinary feeling, one that I find difficult to describe.

One of them was single when I got baptized. He shared videos of their last son’s baptism which took place over the weekend. I had to resort to the Scriptures to try to put words to those feelings and found this Proverb quite apt:

Like cold water to a thirsty soul,
so is good news from a far country (Proverbs 25:25)

The second brother shared about the daughter of a couple we both know. Her physical age almost matches my spiritual age, and she is currently contemplating joining the Church staff after completing her Master’s.

This same brother is part of a WhatsApp Group (the Challenge Team) and shared his experience – being part of the group gives him a higher dimension to his Christian life. It makes him realize that he is part of something much bigger than his local church in Berlin, Germany.

A return call from a family that hosted me in Abidjan some three months lighted up our evening. I had shared a video, during my stay, of mother and daughter dancing together. They couldn’t resist calling us (my wife and me) to express how much they missed us and the precious memories we shared as a family. While leading campus, I remember boasting about this couple 20 years ago as our only married couple on campus with our only daughter (she was probably less than 5 years old)– and was now dancing with her mom, a law graduate who works in her father’s chambers.

As I write, four brothers are with us, resting from a long journey from Abidjan to Lagos – they are here to take part in the 10th edition of the International Campus Leadership Conference.
Also looking forward to hosting a couple coming from Kenya, in East Africa after we all return from the same event.

May we continue to harness the sheer power of our international community, one that is colour blind, speaking the same language, the language of Christ’s love. I refuse to take this for granted

Updated (May 15, 2023)

I just concluded a 45-minute call with a dear Sister and friend of my family – she is of Nigerian origin but is based in Munich Germany with her German (Caucasian) husband.
We both led the Church in Douala Cameroon 25 years ago and also served one of the Regions in the Abidjan Church.
We talked about a planned trip as I get ready to visit and share in the Churches in Berlin, Paris and Munich. Please pray I am granted the visa.
One last thing – we spoke in German almost the whole time with some concluding French parting words. Her husband also managed to give me 5 minutes of his time – though already working (from his home office).

What an International, global family we are part of. This is one of the hallmarks of the ICOC.

 

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