One of the greatest things about traveling regularly to the same places is seeing the familiar faces.
The smiles that tell you they’re happy you’re here again, regardless. Such friendships transcend culture, and those slights that you never intend are thus quickly forgiven and forgotten.
It’s tough traveling to different countries with different cultures, and for the life of me I can’t always remember if in one country I’m not supposed to point my feet at people or in another it’s rude to pat a child on the head.
I’m sure I’m culturally insensitive more than I realize. But in the end it never really seems to matter. What separates us in culture, Christ unites us in faith— and we realize that together, we are brothers and sisters despite our differences.
Our language may be so different that I’m amazed at the new pronunciation of “Christopher.” And in return, I know I regularly struggle to wrap my head around the right way to say, “coffee.”
But I appreciate that while we may even celebrate church differently, our goals are the same: to remember Him who died for us, saving us from our sins. What I take the most joy in is the fact that while I sleep on one side of the world when apart, these believers are awake, so that at all times one of us is hopefully glorifying God.
I take comfort that when I return again, many of the same faces will greet me again, laughing with me over shared memories while continuing to grow our relationships.