Face to Face, Netherlands 2015

by Cheon Young Cheol

In April and May ten super participants from Germany; Kiribati; Tonga/Australia; Karin/Singapore; Indonesia; Taiwan; Zimbabwe/Zambia; Ghana; India joined the CWM Face to Face Programme in the Netherlands.   The participants were theology and religious studies students most of whom were preparing for some form of Christian service and leadership.

The Face to Face programme is an opportunity to learn about a contemporary mission theme in a different context, in the Netherlands the participants explored migration and human trafficking. There were opportunities to reflect on contemporary mission and to engage with the Bible, our spirituality and experiences together. The group explored migration and human trafficking in the Bible, people’s experience, social science and politics as a reality that affects many people in the world and is an acute challenge in the Netherlands.

Participants spent four weeks working in different locations throughout the Netherlands with church agencies and charitable foundations that work alongside, with and on behalf of migrants and people who are trafficked to the Netherlands. Many such people find themselves trapped in situations where they have no opportunities to work or study; living in detention centres for many years and struggling to raise children and live normal family lives.

Encounter became a feature of the Face to face programme, as participants encounter a different culture; different people; God and ultimately we encounter ourselves in new and different ways which change our perspectives and ways of looking at things. “Encountering” cultures, others, God and ourselves enables us to live alongside; live for and live with others in fresh and vibrant “life affirming communities.”

Author:  Wayne Hawkins

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