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On one of many flights between South Africa and the UK in order to establish a business in London, my husband Brink was told by a British fellow passenger: “Never lose your accent. South Africans are known for their diligence.”

We had to pack up and relocate to the UK, lock stock and barrel – in order to tend to our fledgling business. Having had only temporary permission to live and work in the UK, every time we checked in at British Customs was a terrifying moment. This person had the right to refuse us entry! This is the type of feeling we as Christians sometimes have when functioning in a post-Christian community. Even worse is the lot of countless Christians who are exposed to discrimination because of not having the correct faith “passport”.

Twenty years down the line, Brink and I now have the privilege of dual citizenship – still having the accent. We have also discovered that there are quite a few cultural differences. For instance, South Africans tend to bring a warm hospitality into their new dwelling place – and that in the midst of the more reserved British culture! We also tend to talk louder and much more straightforward than our British acquaintances, only to find that people in our company might get a bit uncomfortable.

Likewise, I find that, when I continually place my life under control of the Spirit of Christ, I bring something of his Kingdom’s culture of love, respect, patience, caring, joy, gratitude and peace to the God-less post-Christian society in I sometimes have to function. This is not all that easy – Christians are often mocked or shunned because we are disconcertingly “different”. This is where I need to keep my eyes on Jesus Christ at the heavenly finishing post (Hebrews 12:1-3), like Him to remember who I am, where I come from (who has saved and called me) and where I am heading (John 13:3). I may be gratefully proud of my spiritual roots, and shoulder the responsibility of my “dual citizenship” – and to boot, even discover spiritual family in my British neighbours and colleagues.

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