Guatemalan Pamela Sikahall is serving with Latin Link on the Latin Partners initiative and is learning much as she works with international students in England.
Being from Latin America and living in the UK has been challenging, taking me out of my comfort zone and helping me to grow. There are lots of things I miss about my culture that I never thought I would – the weather, the language, the greetings, the food.
At the same time I’ve learned so much. I’ve made some changes, such as having a diary and writing down meetings and my daily steps for the next five months. In Guatemala I hardly knew what I was going to do the next week! I’ve had to learn planning to function here. I’ve also learned that living in Christian community and culture is universal. I’ve made great friends whom I can call family, and I’ve learned that some of the stereotypes about British people are true – but not all of them!
Working with international students in the UK has been one the most challenging things I’ve ever done. Student life in a different culture and far from home, family and friends is not easy, and that’s what international students go through. We Christians need to share God’s love with them: some have never heard about Jesus.
The UK can be a lonely place. Most of its people have all they need and more, yet I’ve seen more depressed people in five months here than in my whole life back home.
Being a Christian is about showing love to people, which provokes questions. Why are you being nice to me? Who are these Christians and why are they loving, happy people? What’s the relevance of Christianity to me? Sharing the gospel, reflecting God’s love and being like Jesus are universal acts that can show the answers.
For more stories from Latin Link, visit: www.latinlink.org.uk