Different lives but so much in common ground
PUBLISHED: 16:00 03 March 2020 | UPDATED: 09:58 04 March 2020
At the moment I have a friend staying with me who is a Minister from Zambia.
It has been so interesting to see the differences in our culture and countries.
We've had to trawl the charity shops of Exeter to make sure she has enough layers to wear.
It is summer and very, very hot in Zambia.
In June it will be winter. Then it is just hot.
She was very interested in our guinea pigs.
We had to explain that they are pets, rather than being raised to be eaten.
What we eat is quite different although she enjoys British food (or she is very polite...)
She particularly loves the availability of fresh fruit and vegetables as they are so expensive back home.
That heat, which sounds so inviting in the middle of winter, often means that harvests are killed off by drought, raising prices even higher.
I'm very interested in her church - on a Sunday she can baptise 60 babies in one service!
We talk about how Zambia is a country where many people still attend Church - her church is medium sized with 'only' 900 members. My church is not quite that size.
Our chats are both challenging and eye opening.
I'm left appreciating things that I take for granted.
My friend is very good at helping me realise all the blessings that we have here in the UK without sounding bitter about how hard her life can be.
And her open faith and trust in God is compelling, renewing my own walk with Jesus.
I know that there is much that we have in common, even though we look very different and our lives are hugely contrasting.
We share faith that overcomes all barriers.
As it says in one of the New Testament letters: "There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."