Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.
– Romans 15:7
Experiencing different cultures is always fun. I recently made my first trip to Accra, Ghana. Soon after our arrival we were greeted by a friendly Ghanaian with a broad smile and a warm heart. Samuel was our host and comrade. He had spent the better part of his life on the front lines battling in the war against contaminated water that kills nearly 2 million people every year.
As soon as jet lag waned, we were soon on a domestic flight to Tamale, Ghana with bags and bags of heavy luggage. We were traveling with heavy hand-drilling equipment used to bring fresh water to villages. Our Water4 team would be spending more than a week conducting training demonstrations with nationals who we would soon be at work helping solve the water crisis that plagues many parts of Africa.
As we stepped onto the Tarmac and made our way to the steps to board the plane, I reached out to my new friend and expressed my gratitude for his help loading and negotiating our robust cargo. I assured him we were there to help in his work not add to it.
In a rush to make our way across the runway, he spoke over his shoulder with sweat on his brow, “You are almost welcome.”
“Almost welcome?” My heart sank. This wasn’t going too well. We weren’t even on our first well site and I wasn’t winning any friends or favors.
I leaned toward another one of my travel companions. “I hope we can win Samuel over. He said we are almost welcome.”
I big grin and chuckle soon followed. “You are all, most welcome. Not almost welcome. Samuel is glad you are hear and happy to assist you! That is why he said you are all, most welcome.”
“All most welcome!” I had been snagged yet again by cultural nuances!
I have had the privilege of serving alongside many cultural warriors like Samuel. Men and women who give their lives day in and day out in the betterment of mankind. And for each and every one I am forever grateful. Should the opportunity ever present itself, in my country or in my home, they are all, most welcome!
Think and pray
Who are you welcoming into your life? Are there areas of your life that are off limits? When we invite God into all areas of our lives, we are able to experience the incredible adventure He has for us and the freedom that is only available through Jesus Christ.
Father, just as You have welcomed me into a relationship with You, I ask that Your Holy Spirit help me to offer a warm and welcoming spirit to those whom I encounter. I pray for the courage and wisdom to welcome You into all aspects of my life. Amen!
Ray Sanders is recognized as a passionate CEO, a leader of leaders, a white-board aficionado and an innovative growth strategist with a heart for purpose-driven cultures and values-based leadership development. He is Co-founder of Coaching Leaders and Edify Leaders, and a regular speaker for CBMC’s Young Professionals program in Oklahoma City. Catch his blog at raysanders.com.