19 August 2009

more thoughts on the visiting Americans

on the Oudezijds 100 website, br Luc has posted pictures and written about the visiting Americans (who've now been joined for a few days by a dutch group out of Zwolle). i really like how br Luc has expressed how different cultures and faith traditions can be a blessing to each other - although he, being dutch, didn't exactly put it that way :).

for those of you who don't speak dutch, i'm including a translation of the text below.

"The end of the summer has once again brought us "the American situation." This term often has negative connotations, but that's not what I mean here. At Oudezijds 100 we get to know Americans in another way: as hard working, serious young adults, who make a lot of noise.

They come from Jacksonville, Florida; from the group ACCESS 218, a young adult group in the United Methodist Church. There are once again 12 of them and they are again helping out a lot with the different work projects in our house. They have come here expecting that the trip to Amsterdam will be “a life changing experience” and with the hope that “this trip is just the beginning of something great that God is doing for us, our community, and everyone we come into contact with”. This is language that I'd never use. It actually makes me a bit anxious: are these words not too much? These expectations cannot really be fulfilled through painting, fixing, and eating breakfast together, can they? My anxious thoughts expose something that I can learn from these Americans. For when my impressions of these things would come out as not much more than “het was wel leuk [it was rather nice],” they would say "God is present here." That is a way of believing that I, from time to time, rather miss. Now I certainly don't have to take over all of their ways, but at the same time it wouldn't hurt to have a bit of this "American situation." "

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