I had lunch with a brother from Zambia today. I was delighted to find that our hearts easily made the journey over several thousand miles of cultural difference. We shared the same passion: God and His Kingdom.
He's come over, along with fifty or so others, for MILC - the Multiply International Leader's Conference - which takes place this coming Saturday. A lot of delegates have come early and we've been laying on a packed programme for them: visiting some of our community properties and businesses and holding seminars on aspects of our Church's vision such as Christian community and covenant brotherhood. Heady stuff. Many of these brothers and sisters come from countries where it's far from easy to be a Christian at all. And yet, they're clearly fairly awed by what God has done with us.
All of which leaves me with a potent cocktail of emotions swirling around within me. On the one hand, I'm so proud again of the rare wonder of what God has led the Jesus Army into. And on the other hand, I'm hugely humbled as I consider the suffering and patience of some of our overseas brethren.
But most of all, I'm enjoying the brotherhood that can happen when two men from different continents, with different skins, different cultures, different histories and different languages meet and discover they've got one heart.