School started this month, and we started with forty-six scholarships, thanks to you. We have 31 grade schoolers in San Lorenzo who have received uniforms, school supplies, breakfast, and lunch. There are 12 middle and high schoolers who are on scholarship, and two students who are on university scholarships. In addition we have one student on scholarship to bilingual school at St. Mary’s Episcopal School in Tegucigalpa. You are making a difference, one family at a time.
How are we displaying Christ’s love to others, especially those who are new to our community? By opening our arms to others, we gain the opportunity to share the Good News of Christ. As the number of displaced people increases, churches around the world can be a positive influence in their community. We give thanks for ministries and churches, like Growing the Church, where Wayne and Nicole Curtis serve as missionaries, and where they experienced first-hand being welcomed into the community. Nicole writes:
Yesterday in chapel, staff members of Growing the Church shared some of their favorite stories about GtC. When it was my turn to share, I broke down in tears, surprised by my emotion. I talked about my first encounters with the GtC staff and my earliest days there, and how everyone had welcomed me with opened arms.
You see, I know what it feels like to leave one’s beloved family, country, and culture and move half away across the world. I know what it feels like to quit a good job and head into the unknown of financial security. I know what it’s like to completely uproot, to sell one’s possessions and to arrive in a new country, carrying only three suitcases and two carry-on bags.
I am a foreigner. I know what it’s like to learn how to grocery shop again, learning new foods, how to read labels, new terminology, a new system of weight and volume. I know what it’s like to learn to drive on the left side of the road and to learn different rules of the road, to struggle to communicate, and to feel so homesick at times that the feeling feels almost like physical pain.
Despite these struggles, I know what it feels like to be welcomed with opened arms and with love, for people to be happy that I am here, for people to have me over for dinners and braais and to take me for walks on the beach. I know what it feels like to receive guidance about bank accounts, clothing, and cooking. I know what it’s like for people to be patient with me, as I struggle to communicate in their language. I know what it’s like for people to live out Leviticus 19:34a, “The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself.”
This has been my experience in South Africa, and I can never thank my friends, family, colleagues, parish family, and all the countless churches, parishioners, priests, bishops, students and other individuals who have welcomed and loved me as one of their own.
You can be an ambassador of Christ by welcoming others who are foreign to your country, city, or neighborhood. Discover this resource and learn more about how you can come alongside those in your community.
Original story by Nicole Curtis Corlew. Wayne and Nicole work with Growing the Church a church growth institute that serves the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. They are concentrating on helping churches disciple and mentor youth. Discover more about them here.
Within a month of my arrival in Cape Town, I was in George, helping out with a Rooted in Jesus training. We were in an Afrikaans-speaking community, and all the parishioners, including the ones in this group, welcomed me with opened arms.
Sa Wat Dee/Ka (Hello!) You can recognize that it is I, Bonnie, writing this because Chuck would have said “Sa Wat Dee/Krop– Ka is used after each sentence by women and Krop is used by men. That’s your first Thai lesson.
The time is winding down and it is now just 4 days until we will be leaving for Thailand. We are pretty much packed up and ready to go with just a few things left on our “to do” list. We’re very excited.
Here is a photo of us with our Thai language and culture teacher, Nina, at our final lesson. We are so happy to have met Nina; she is an excellent and patient teacher.
Sa Wat Dee/Ka (Goodbye–same as hello. Isn’t that easy?
Fr Phil had managed to book their four legs of the airplane flights in Peru from England, I wasn’t as fortunate.
As I was booking four separate airline journeys, none of which were round trip, I kept running into trouble. I had tried multiple times to book my flights from the US on the LATAM website, trying English, trying Spanish, each time after entering all the information–city to city, flight to flight, date to date; only to have my credit card rejected for no reason anyone could figure out. Hours on the computer, hours on the phone with the LATAM representative, produced no results.
So when I arrive in Peru, I try again to book my own tickets online figuring that now I was in Peru, maybe that was the problem. Nope. This means a trip to the airline office; thank goodness it is in the same district that I’m in so it will take only about 15 minutes to get there and a one sol bus ride (about 35¢.) I explain the situation to Paola, who plugs in all four legs of my journey, only to come up with a cost that is almost 50% higher than what I had been quoted on the website! I decide not to buy the ticket that day, but go back and see what my husband John gets on his computer.
John checks his computer and gets the same price I had gotten before, sends me a photo of the computer screen and I go back to the office the next day and show Paola. The problem is that LATAM changed their pricing schedule. I”m not eligible for that price now. They have four columns, but now foreigners can buy only the most expensive tickets, not the next cheaper level down and the website was showing the wrong level for me as a foreigner. I buy the expensive tickets. No choice.
In the meantime, I warn Deborah (the unexpected visitor) by e-mail to expect a hefty cost for her airline tickets. Phil has sent her the itinerary that we will follow. She is in Andorra and contacts her husband in Spain to see what he can get. In the end, she asks me to get them as he ended up going through the same things. So back to the airline ticket office again the next day. Praise God we all have tickets on the same flights! Now to deal with the buses!