Ten Uniting Church members were thrown into a melting pot of faiths, cultures and languages during a a cross-cultural adventure northern India in June/July.
As guests of the Church of North India (CNI), a partner church of the UCA, the trip enabled participants to experience the mission and ministry of the CNI in Kashmir, an area claimed by both India and Pakistan.
Group leader Rev Dr Rob Bos and the team spent the bulk of their time as guests of the Tyndale-Biscoe/Mallinson school in Srinagar which provides education for 6000 students, the vast majority of whom are Muslims.
A visit to a hospital where both militants and the military are treated with the same degree of care was an inspirational demonstration of the work of the church in very difficult circumstances and its achievements in the area of social justice.
Participant Lyndall Moore said the trip was “Intriguing, enchanting, daunting and in-your-face. A land of confronting contrasts”.
Also inspired was minister Jan Reid. “To be exposed to another culture was a privilege and to be in the presence of many gracious hosts during our travels was a humbling experience,” she said.
Further interactions of personnel from both countries for longer periods may become possible in the future.
Photo : A hand of welcome for Australian visitors. Photo by Lyndall Moore