What does it mean to be a stranger? How does it feel to be out of place?
Missionaries and evangelists across our region often have to face these questions. We hear these questions from those involved in studying a new language, and from young new believers who are rejected by their families because of their faith in Christ.
It is hard on everyone to be a stranger. It creates loneliness, social clumsiness, and confusion.
During this Advent season, I have pondered the story of a cross-cultural stranger: Ruth. She voluntarily moves to another country, a new people, and even a new faith. But what an amazing woman she turns out to be. She became a critical link, for the salvation of God’s people, in the Messianic line from David to Jesus. Who would have thought this about her?
The stranger becomes the saviour. When we listen again to the story of God’s Son becoming a human, and pursuing the path to the cross, we should feel the strangeness of it all. How odd, how unlike what we are used to! But the strangeness is our lifeline, our redemption.
As a couple, and as part of the regional mission team, we embrace the path of the strangeness of Christ. We have faith that Christmas is a promise for each one of us, wherever we live and serve: God opens unexpected doors into life, light, peace and healing through His Son Jesus.
“May the LORD repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.” Ruth 2:12
Annemarie and I would like to wish you a blessed Christmas, where we will experience Christ the Saviour in new and unexpected strange ways!
Arthur Snijders, Regional Director