I am sitting at Johannesburg International Airport awaiting our next flight to Dar Es Salem in Tanzania. I have had no sleep and seem to be wide awake! It is dawn here and I am noticing my first day in Africa. Yes it is very different in so many ways. Take for example the people. There is laughter as the Africans start coming to open up their shops and they greet one another with warmth. This brings back many happy memories for me as I am taken back to our days in Nairobi. It was such a special time being part of another culture learning language and how people think and do things differently to you.
I guess this is what we must remember as a church family as we seek to reach in to reach out to people from other cultures who live in our neighborhood. It was a joy spending time with the Punithan family after Steines baptism last Sunday. The different food and just the joy of being in fellowship was something that I treasure. We have much to learn from one another in how God has made us and given us different life experiences. How we can all come together as one in Christ continues to amaze me but this is the power of God at work in us.
I am looking forward to the next stage of our journey up into the poorer areas of Tanzania. It will be a stark contrast to life in Como where I live. I will walk the dirt roads of a morning through farmlands where people plant small crops. I will greet people and try to show them the love of Jesus. I find so much joy in this. What I will struggle with though is the poverty as I realize just how blessed we are in Australia. How we complain about the blessings we have is disappointing to say the least. But the great news is that I will still enjoy fellowship with them and will worship with them all because of Jesus.