This summer, many of us will be jetting off to various exotic countries to enjoy a well deserved summer holiday, alone or with the family. It could be a day trip to Blackpool or a weekend away in France. When travelling, we always ask ourselves the age old question, “did I remember my passport?” For many of us, our passport is a little bit embarrassing; it’s either a picture we took at an earlier stage of our lives while trying a new hairstyle or perhaps the camera was not kind to us.

My passport is a symbol, a statement of where I am from and many would agree with me. For those of us who are a part of the younger black generation, we have taken for granted the ease in which we received our red passports. Passports which many have fought for, lied or manipulated to receive. For our parents who have their indefinite stay or British citizenship, they know this is their adopted country but some still dream of returning home. Proverbs 3:6 says “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” God directs us in life and it was not an accident that many of our parents settled here, even though many primarily came to study.

This train of thought would lead me to my younger days when I was in church and my Pastor would mention how she came into the country with a ‘portmanteau’. I would laugh, mainly because I wondered what that was. Nevertheless, many of our parents came into the country in the same way, with the dream of studying and returning back home. What changed?

God had a plan! His word says “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…” He was telling Jeremiah that He has always known him (Jeremiah 1:5). In the same way that God knows everyone on earth, in every country, state and tribes from all different walks of life.

Being the inquisitive person I am, I began to question my mother about her experiences of this country. We laughed, smiled and joked as she shared on that part of her life.

For many of you reading this article, you may have been told that London is the place where things are happening, where money flows from the river Thames and the streets are lined with gold. Unfortunately this is not true. My mother came to this country on the 15th November 1983 to better her life opportunities and as a result, she furthered her education pursuing studies in the fashion industry. She also assisted her sister with the child care of her three children. Just like many, studying was her main focus.

I asked my mum two further questions, “When did you go back?” She said her first visit back to Africa was in 1993 and by then she had gotten used to the UK weather so Africa felt like an ‘oven’.

My last question was, “Do you see yourself as a citizen of the UK?” She said yes she did and this was now her home, although she really began to embrace this nation through the teachings of our Pastor. In the past her heart was in Africa but now it is here.

That is exactly how life is – a journey! The UK now is an adopted home but Heaven is our home, we are just passing through for a moment. The lesson I would like to pass on to you as you read this, is to embrace the nation that God has placed you in. Wherever you are, see it as your home, for now.

God bless you and never forget: you are an ambassador of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20).

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