Thursday, July 10, 2014

"Right In Our Own Back Yard!"

Two of our kids were downstairs riding skateboards and the rest of us were in our apartment when after a quick rap on the door, a girl from China walks right into our house with a confident "hello."  It's 9:15 in the morning, and  even though we have never met, she's standing in our entry way, exclaiming at the cuteness of Juniper and wandering down the hallway to the living room! 

"Hello!"  I greet her back.  We all introduced ourselves and began to talk about apartments for rent in the area.  I ended up walking around the neighborhood and helping her and her friends find some living accommodations for the summer.

It's not that that was a daily occurrence by any means, but I tell you that story to highlight just how involved we are with the international student population in Wildwood!  The students are everywhere -even walking right into our living room!  
So often it's merely sentiment to say "there are people from all over the world right in our back yard." But on the Wildwood Summer Project, it's actual fact!   Throughout the week and with increasing frequency we and our students hang out in the backyard of the project house talking with new friends from all over the world.

I was hanging out one night talking with a guy named Alex from Romania along with a couple of other guys including a guy I'll call "G" from China.  We were talking about original sin and I was explaining the Adam and Eve story which was actually brand new to "G."   Alex, had grown up around the Eastern Orthodox tradition, so he was at least familiar with the narrative.  As we talked about the effects of the fall in the world and in our lives Alex exclaimed grievously "Awww Adam!  Why did you eat that F****** apple!?"  (I think he speaks for all of us.)  As we went on, I was explaining that Jesus is the only one who has ever lived a perfect and sinless life.  So that the gospel was not confused as being simply another moralistic tale, I told some other stories from the Bible, explaining that all of the characters in the Bible are actually sinful, fallen human beings, and only the God in the flesh, Jesus can save us.  As I told different stories, I dialed em up using BibleGateway on my iPhone.
It was a great conversation and everyone was really engaged.  "G" said, "I am really interested in the Bible right now!"  I explained that he could read the whole thing online in his own language!  He said, "yah, but how long would that take?"  I said "Probably a couple of months."  He said  "Don't they have a movie or something?"  I said "well, actually...yah.  They kind of do!  Just this past year the History Channel made a movie!"  I said "I'll buy it and how bout next Thursday we can start watching it!"

Here's what's cool.  "G" actually went home and downloaded the full miniseries on his computer!  But then, someone stole his laptop!!  NOOOOOO!  But he came out on Thursday, and towards the end of our International Cafe, we set up a screen right in the driveway and about 10-15 of us watched the first episode of the Bible movie.  

There were guys literally getting their first exposure to the Biblical narrative!  And they were into it!

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