If you look through someone else's eyes...

Being an intercultural church with people from different backgrounds enriches your faith. But then you have to talk to each other.

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By Hans Euser

Being an intercultural church with people from different backgrounds enriches your faith. But then you have to talk to each other. In LIVE! Rotterdam South has found a great way to do this. A Discovery Bible Study is held every two weeks on Sunday. Below is a report.

In a small group we read Psalm 121 with people of Moroccan, Iranian, Indonesian and Dutch descent. The pilgrim song was sung on the road from Jericho to Jerusalem, we find out. That was not a paved pilgrimage route. On the contrary, you were in danger of being attacked by robbers. The sun shone brightly and the moon could 'sting' you. Does that mean moon sickness, going crazy (the English lunatic = crazy is derived from luna = moon)?

“I miss those pilgrimages so much,” the Iranian responds to the Scripture reading. “We used to do that with a lot of people. A time of preparation, and then walking together to the grave of Mohammed's grandson in Iraq. We took notes with the names of people we wanted to pray for. It gave such a connection and deepening in faith. Especially when you arrived at the place itself. It is a pity that this does not exist in the Protestant Christian faith.”

The Dutch had never looked at it that way. They quickly read it as a personal prayer for help. But now that it sinks in a little deeper, we see the author passing from the first person to the second person: my help is from the LORD; He won't trip you. “Of course, he shares his personal faith with fellow pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem! Could we no longer walk together as a church? A prayer route through the city to a place where you will sing together or something.”

"That He is the shadow at our right hand - the hand of authority and guidance - reminds me of the shadow makers in the desert," the Iranian continued. “The sun was so hot that men and women sacrificed themselves standing with large sheets to shade the passing pilgrims. I will never forget them; in them I see something of God.”

Something like that again. Who among us would ever think of God as a shadowmaker? But suddenly we see Him standing, with a large sheet against the scorching sun. He sacrificed himself to save his creatures. What a powerful image. You really see more of God… when you look through someone else's eyes!


LEEF! Rotterdam Zuid

LEEF! Rotterdam Zuid (https://www.leefrotterdamzuid.cc/) is one of the churches in the ICP network. It is a network of communities, ranging from a Farsi group and an Alpha course to Entrepreneurs in Noord and Curioso, a curious women's group. One Sunday everything and everyone comes together in a big celebration; on the other Sunday the groups meet in smaller groups for a Discovery Bible Study (https://discoverybiblestudy.org/).