Lancaster, the last stop on my way to Spring Grove PA. There in the Catholic parish of Sacred Heart I am supposed to preach the weekend. But how bring the situation of Africa to the rural area of Pennsylvania? I must admit I am not quite sure how that will work out and whether I find the right words to beam South African reality to Amish county. People, who I have never met before will have the chance of a “sermon-length” to learn about the work HOPE Cape Town is doing – a weekend encounter which hopefully strives a bond of understanding between Mfuleni, Wallacedene and Spring Grove.
Yes, the world has become a village – but still one wonders how to bridge the gap in a way, people really understand the plight of their fellow brothers and sisters in another corner of the world. Against my usual procedure I did not prepare a sermon because I think to take this chance I must get a sense on how to communicate with this community and I hope the luncheon with Fr Paul and Fr Tom this noon time will help me with this exciting challenge.
When I woke up this morning I thought to myself how strange it is that a person from rural Germany, the “Eifel” happens to be the messenger for a South African project in rural Pennsylvania, where most are offspring from German settlers. Indeed, the word of “citizen of the world” comes to mind – the global village beams us from the comfort of a limited home turf into such a global citizen situation one or the other way.
Let’s hope that those attending the services this weekend are touched by the stories of those living in the Western Cape and that this a start of a continuous relationship between the two worlds. That would be the ideal outcome. But even if this is only a once off encounter, to learn about others living in another corner of the world can only widen the horizon of those listening.