We are women who know how to make meals from scratch, and arrange travel across a large city via bus and train and taxi. We can choose the best in-season vegetables in the market, pack like experts, and set up a home no matter where we are.
We understand what it is like to be the stranger, to be welcomed by new friends despite language barriers. We ache when we say goodbye yet again, and when we miss important family occasions and holiday traditions back home.
We are united in these ways, but we are also diverse.
We serve in cities and villages, on every continent around the world. We have also grown up on all those continents, speak different heart languages, pull out different passports as we stand in immigration lines.
For some of us, those passports have changed color and country, making the question, “Where are you from?” even more complicated.
We here at Velvet Ashes know that although many of us started our journey in North America, our community reaches farther than that. We are far richer and extremely blessed by the women who join us from other passport countries. The differences we possess that bring this richness are joined by countless ways we are similar.
We know that when you walk into a room where it appears that everyone else already knows each other it can seem intimidating. The most comforting thing can be when you catch someone’s eye and they motion to the chair next to them and say, “Sit with me!” That one gesture says, “You belong!”.
To those of you whose passport countries are outside of North America, we know there is a chance it could feel like that as you wander into this community. We want you to know that we see you, we value you, and we want you to sit with us! No matter what your passport country or birth country or home country might be, we want to serve you too! In order to do that, we need to know you, and know what you need.
We know there isn’t any place on earth where the differences we all bring don’t melt away when our purpose is united in Christ. In this our differences become tools to reach the lost. We have so much to learn from each other. In his hands our differences become the instrument he uniquely designed. As we find each other in team, in the market, or just working for a similar purpose in the same city, he begins to gather the pieces he designed to accomplish his will. His great commission was spoken to all people. His work in people’s hearts is stirring in all continents. As we answer His call to reach the lost may we view our differences as he does, uniquely designed to serve His purpose.
So, can you help us? Will you help us rejoice at our differences? How can we be a better place to celebrate that?
We would love to hear from you, as you link arms with your fellow sisters here in this community.
How does your passport country affect or change your worldview and perspective when it comes to connection and online community like we are building here?
What are resources we need to know about or could possibly share with others that come from your passport country?
Are there specific ways you have felt welcomed into the community of Velvet Ashes? What are ways we could do even better at that?
Thank you for being here. We need and value each and every one of you, no matter what your passport country, to make this community the beautiful experience that it is.
We invite you to share in The Grove. You can link up your blog post, or share your practices, ponderings, wisdom, questions, ideas, and creative expressions with us in the comments below.
Share your images on this week’s theme with #VelvetAshesPassportCulture. You can add yours!