A Grain of Sand in a Foreign Land
Integration into a new society is difficult. As a lone outsider, drawing new connections and establishing new points of contact from scratch is not easy. This is compounded when you are in a different country and continent. So what is to be done then?
The simple answer is the same concept as it was in grade school and university. You join a society. Now in academic years, it is clubs based on some common interest in a sport, talent or profession. The same applies in adulthood. Now there are several types of societies that are readily available in most major cities in the world, but the one I wanted to bring up is that of joining a church and an international church specifically. Let’s go over some reasons why this may be a good idea.
3 Good Reasons to Join a Church
Firstly, for those that oppose saying that they are not Christian, most churches are fairly accepting to those that are not of the same belief. Now in my own experience there are other religions that are not so accepting which is not for me to name, but they are out there.
Secondly, it opens the gate to a wide range of different people from the highest of the highs to the lowest of the lows. No one can deny another person from worship. This gives you access to a varied range of people from worship. This gives you access to a varied range of people from different socioeconomic classes. Of course you don’t directly go up and ask people for a partnership once you meet them. No but after talking a little with them you can take their number and meet outside of the church setting to discuss other matters. And it may not even be career focused. I’ve been invited to people’s homes, events and an orphanage. It’s a sense of community in a far away land.
Thirdly, why I say an international church rather then a local church (and this applies more to developing countries as there population tends to be much more homogenous). Well an international church will be much more open to foreigners and will expect to see foreigners. While a local church not only will the language be different (assuming English is your preferred language), you will be stared at and won’t feel as welcome (first hand experience).
While international churches serve as gateways. What is meant is that it is expected that foreigners and locals mingle together, it’s only natural. It’s a door that is handed directly to you. You just need to be willing to take that first step and join a church service, shake some hands, be friendly and add value to the organization.
Things will fall into place.
Kingston S. Lim
January 20, 2021
About Kingston’s Journey Series: Kingston’s Journey is a lifelong series. This is the travel journal I take with me. Whether you have questions such as how to change my life or how to travel the world, I think you’ll find value in the life lessons I’ve experienced and documented in this travel notebook. They may serve as travel inspiration for you. In Chinese, there is a saying, “讀萬卷書,不如行千里路.”
This means, instead of reading ten thousand books, why don’t you walk a thousand miles. This is my inspiration to travel every nation (or as many as possible) in my pursuit of my global MBA by learning as much as possible and recording these life lessons learned only by travel. In the end, I think the achievement of dreams, personal growth & aspirations out there through travel and adventure will lead to a more fulfilling life. Living and experiencing the “now” is how I’ll make my life a great memory in the future.