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  • Writer's pictureJason Rivera

I Rate Blokes in Bathers who eat Cilantro in the Feral Loo

Updated: Jun 25, 2023

Celebrating God’s unity and diversity through language.

Chances are you were probably confused when you read this title. Take Alanah for example (DTS ‘23), who recently commented: “Cilantro, like what even is that? It’s coriander.” Wow, the Aussie has spoken! Right after saying though that she rates fairy floss? To me that sounds like the strange dream of someone who’s mother forgot to tell her the truth about the tooth fairy (sorry, Alanah).

As the students of DTS 2023, we represent 8 different countries, 7 different languages, and of course, 4 different Englishes. Conveniently we have at least one student from the 4 largest English speaking countries in the world: America, Canada, Great Britain, and Australia. And when I say we speak different Englishes, sometimes I feel like we’re speaking completely different languages. If you couldn’t already tell, I’m American, so I might say (perfectly normally, cough cough) things like bell pepper and cilantro, whereas Brits and Aussies might say capsicum and coriander.

4 people, representing 4 "Englishes." Canada, UK, Austrilia, and USA

As you might expect, this has produced a considerable amount of confusion and quite a few laughs during our time together. I still remember the first week of the DTS when Alanah told me that her brother had stolen her jumper since her leaving home. The only thing I knew to be a jumper was a jumpsuit, lending to the image of her brother wearing a fancy women’s outfit or a bright orange one… Little did I know it was as benign as a sweatshirt! Perhaps the most unfortunate idiosyncrasy is the Australian word for flip-flops; I would say look it up, but maybe it’s best just to leave that stone unturned (if you’re really curious, I’ll put a hint in the post-script).

Learning about the many different lifestyles and unique cultural characteristics (yes, even the different englishes) from people on my team has been one aspect of the YWAM experience that I didn’t realize would be so amazing. From topics like the education system and politics to even how the moon looks at home, I have learned so much about the world just from being around this diverse group of people! Going into this DTS, I knew I would learn deeply about life in Spain and the countries we visit, but I didn’t know I would feel connected to so many more countries simply through my DTS-mates.

As I reflect on this, I am reminded that God’s heart has always been for all nations and cultures.

“That your ways may be known on the earth, your salvation among all nations…May all the peoples praise you. May the nations be glad and sing for joy.”

Psalms 67:2-4

From the beginning, God has wanted to know and be known by humans, his ultimate intent in making us. We can feel his grief after the fall, when he cries out, “Where are you?” to Adam (Genesis 3:9). Our sin made us lose that intimacy with the Father, leaving us with crushing isolation and endless division. But God in his mercy would not stand for this, and created a redemptive pathway for all individuals from every culture. We can belong to him again and learn to understand that we are a reflection of his unchanging character and holy diversity.

God wants us all; whether we say gas or petrol, aluminium or aluminum, he loves us and the redeemed aspects of our cultures. So when we get to know each other, we can celebrate this fact that we are different, but still one in Christ.

P.S. it rhymes with “wrong” and starts with a th

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