During seminary, I travelled to Ethiopia on a cross-cultural trip. My classmates and I toured a variety of sustainable development projects and religious pilgrimage sites. There was always great excitement when our Ethiopian guides would discover that we shared their Christian faith. They no longer considered us strangers, but instead, brothers and sisters in Christ. Many freely shared stories of their faith journey or personal devotional life with us.
One evening, our waiter noticed a cross necklace that my friend was wearing and cautiously asked, “Are you Christian?” When my friend replied “Yes,” the man excitedly grabbed his own cross pendant and held it out. “I’m Christian!” he shouted, loud enough for the entire restaurant to hear. My friend happily held out his cross in reply to this new friend.
When I returned to Canada, I was asked if my classmates and I had been given the opportunity to teach the people of Ethiopia about the Christian faith. Rather, it was our new-found brothers and sisters in Christ who had taught us how to live every day joyfully witnessing to the gospel.
Lord of all, open my lips to declare your praise so that all may know the joy and freedom you bring. Amen. — KLS