Intercultural Encounter recipients head overseas
The Cambridge Centre for Christianity Worldwide’s Intercultural Encounter programme has awarded a record number of bursaries to Cambridge-area students this year.
Seventeen students will be experiencing the life of a Christian community in another culture for at least four weeks. “Students” is understood broadly; the group includes one in the Sixth Form, several Cambridge University undergraduates, medical students, and a number of ordinands.
The placements reflect the wide diversity of global Christianity. The ordinands tend to seek out placements in recognized church settings. One student from Ridley Hall will be working with a Palestinian Anglican priest in the West Bank. Another will be attached to the Anglican cathedral in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.
Undergraduates have a range of placements. One is spending a year in Russia improving her Russian language skills and working with Operation Mobilization. A recent graduate will be spending several months in Jordan working with refugees from the Syrian civil war. Another recent graduate is set to spend a month at a Bible college of the Redeemed Christian Church of God outside Lagos, Nigeria. The placement was arranged by Rev. Dr. Babatunde Adedibu, a research associate of the CCCW and provost of the college.
Medical students often choose to spend the elective month on their clinical rotations overseas. The Intercultural Encounter programme this year is supporting four students, who will be working at church-run hospitals in Malawi and South Africa.
Law student Rachel Preston is visiting lawyers in East Africa and learning about the practice of law in other cultures. She wrote recently on her blog : “It incredibly refreshing to hear lawyers talk about their work with such a passion and conviction - there is no question of them being in it for the money (they're certainly not on high-flying lawyers' salaries!) but they've seen and understood God's heart for justice and long to be used by him to right injustices that surround them in their societies. It's really challenged me to think carefully about why I'm doing a law degree, and where I go from here.”
Other placement locations include South Dakota in the United States, working with Native American churches; Bolivia; Argentina; Rwanda; and many more.
The Henry Martyn Trust has been giving bursaries for overseas travel for over 30 years. The record number of bursaries this year reflects a commitment of the Trustees to expanding the Intercultural Encounter programme. As Christians in the 21st century, it is vital that students today have the confidence, experience, and humility to interact with their sisters and brothers in Christ in cross-cultural settings.
The Intercultural Encounter programme has two application rounds per year, in January and May. The CCCW welcomes inquiries from prospective applicants with some idea of where they want to spend time and those with no idea at all. More information is available on this website or by contacting the Encounter coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maggie Tate, a past Encounter recipient, in Cambodia in 2015