Monday, March 08, 2004

'Lift Him Up – International'...James...church family

Saturday was quite a night. For several years we have sought to celebrate the cultural diversity we as a church have been gifted with. So several times a year we celebrate with food and music something we call 'Lift Him Up – International'.

Saturday was great and I have struggled to discover what it was that made it for me. Perhaps it was seeing our small church packed to the seams with enthusiasm. Perhaps it was the 15-20 different nationalities that were represented. Perhaps it was our singing in Ibo; Twi; Shona; French; Swahili; Lingala; Yoruba; Ndebele; Setswana; German; Spanish and even English. Perhaps it was seeing a oneness in all that difference, seeing old and young joining together to celebrate as God’s assorted children. I struggled to put my finger on what made Saturday memorable.

It came to me. We were tidying up afterwards and all the time we were kept amused by the laughter of my daughters. Something, someone was entertaining them. We looked and it was James, an interesting member of our church. Five years ago he came to London and found himself on the streets. He went from hostel to hostel until he went to a SA hostel. He has been coming to our fellowship since he was re-housed in the area.

For half an hour his antics and humour had our girls enthralled. In their laughter, smiles they gave him a respect that he is not used to. "This has been one of the best days of my life…" Church family can be powerful.

James was at both services on Sunday –he seemed more confident and at one.

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