Thought for the Week

Rutherglen Reformer - - News from the Pews -

For two weeks in June I got to spend time with a mis­sion team from Ari­zona on their visit to Scot­land.

Six­teen peo­ple from De­serthills Pres­by­te­rian, in Phoenix, and five from Le­upp Pres­by­te­rian, in the Navajo Reser­va­tion got to spend time with dif­fer­ent churches and or­gan­i­sa­tions in Cam­bus­lang, Kil­marnock and Prest­wick.

De­serthills and Le­upp are two very dif­fer­ent ar­eas and two very dif­fer­ent churches. De­serthills is si­t­u­ated in Scotts­dale, a sub­stan­tially af­flu­ent area of Phoenix, whereas Le­upp is si­t­u­ated in a reser­va­tion where tra­di­tional Amer­i­cans, or In­di­ans, live.

De­serthills went to Le­upp on a mis­sion a few years ago, with plans to ‘change’ and ‘ help’ the con­gre­ga­tion at Le­upp by telling them how to do things or build­ing things for them. How­ever, very quickly they re­alised this wasn’t the best thing to do.

Jim, the pas­tor at De­serthills, tells a story of the first time he vis­ited Le­upp.Know­ing the history that white Amer­i­cans force de­ported the Navajo from their home, he did not how the first meet­ing was go­ing to go.

The pas­tor’s wife wel­comed him by teach­ing a Navajo phrase “Ayóo anííníshní”, which means ‘I love you’. Jim says that was the turn­ing point for him.De­serthills worked out the best thing to do was sim­ply be to­gether, talk to­gether and share to­gether. When the two churches trav­elled to­gether to Scot­land it was clear they en­joyed be­ing to­gether.

That is ex­actly what hap­pened when the group vis­ited us here.We just got to know each other, and through that we be­gan to love, re­spect and care.

Isn’t that re­ally how we should be chang­ing or help­ing each other?

Our friends from Le­upp put it bril­liantly: “We are broth­ers and sis­ters in Christ. It doesn’t mat­ter where we come from or what we’ve done be­fore now.”

Keiran Wardrope Cam­bus­lang Parish Church

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.