The second commandment, from Mark 12:31, tells us to love our neighbor as ourselves. In previous years, our church has hosted a Taste of Africa luncheon. One of my fondest memories was the sense of excitement that many members of FUMC Hurst experienced leading up to the event. There was a buzz about the upcoming gathering and questions such as: “Do you know what they are serving?” As more and more tickets were sold the anticipation kept growing. Everyone wanted to know more about our African newcomers and one way to experience their culture was through tasting their food.
Ms. Vicki Ingle, a longtime member of FUMC Hurst and volunteer ESL Instructor, described the Taste of Africa as follows: “The ladies cooked through the night to prepare a feast for us and the line to pick up a plate was very long. Yet, everyone waited patiently knowing it would be worth it because the enticing smells began to reach those standing in the line. They could have pre-filled the plates and had people pick them up at the end but it was important for each member to exchange a few words with the ladies as they went through the line asking about each dish. They made connections. There was the feeling of unity and community. We got to know our new friends from Africa better through food and conversation. It is hard for us, Americans, to imagine what they left behind but we can imagine a new life for them in their new faith family. If we can help them feel like they belong here, we will have made a giant step in loving our neighbor and coming closer together through our common denomination – the love of Jesus Christ.“