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Our attempts at cross-cultural ministry

by on August 16, 2013

We got to know an eastern European student. She started coming along to our church. Then eventually she got married – to a non-church-going boy. We tried to reach out to him, but she stopped coming.

We made friends with a sub-continental Christian woman, and her extended family. She came along for a while. We learnt some songs in her language, and sang them often. When she and her husband discovered that the rector was at the morning church instead, they swapped over to them.

An Asian woman was coming along, and so we learnt a hymn in her language. The week we first sang that hymn, was the last week she ever attended.

A Nepali woman was attending, but her English was weak. We made a big effort to simplify our English. She stopped coming.

Our kids tend to make friends with kids from other cultures at school. Our son really likes a pair of Iranian brothers. You’d think that would be a way to connect with the family – playdates etc. But it seems playdates aren’t part of Iranian culture!

Our kids also like the kids from a Greek/aboriginal family at school. Turns out playdates aren’t part of Greek/aboriginal culture either. Doh!

Our eldest daughter has become good friends with a Lebanese muslim girl. Guess how Lebanese muslim people feel about playdates…

We’ve got to know a couple of Mandarin-speaking families in the neighbourhood. They’re so nice.  We talk happily on the street with them. When I visit one family, they invite me in and are friendly. You’d think that would go somewhere. We’ve invited them over about 5 times over the past two years. They always say no!

The other Mandarin family are so friendly in the park, and on the street. We always chat. To invitations, they also say no. Every time! When I visited them, they  didn’t want me to come in.

Then to my surprise he turned up at our ESL class, asked me all about it. Didn’t want to come in, said he’d come to class another week. I arranged for a good friend of his to invite him along the next week. He flatly refused!

Deep waters. Often in over our heads.

I’m not sure if we’ve quite got the hang of this cross-cultural stuff…


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