At Proskuneo, we believe in welcome. And not just welcome, but welcome home! Home is a place where you can put your feet on the furniture. You can exhale and simply be who you are. After a long day, or a long journey, you are glad to come back home. You are welcomed. You are loved. You belong.
You Are Welcomed.
Recently, we befriended a minister at a local church. His English wasn’t great, but he was really working on it. His Amharic, however, was beautiful and free because he was born and raised in Ethiopia. The people in the church loved and embraced him as he served and baptized and organized. But, when we sang a short chorus in Amharic in a service, the same people complained because they were uncomfortable. No more songs in Amharic. He received the message: You are welcome, as long as you do things our way, in our language. That’s not welcome. In some ways, churches haven’t come too far from segregated seating based on skin color. Back then the message was: You are welcome, as long as you stay in your place. That’s not welcome either.
You Are Loved.
A teenager from Burma recently walked into the room where I was. I greeted her and asked her how her day had been. She responded with a quick “fine.” I leaned closer as if to say “Are you sure?” and she started to cry. “Wow. This really is a safe place, isn’t it?” she said to me with tears in her eyes. When you’re at home, you don’t have to pretend you’re having a good day when you aren’t. You are loved no matter what.
One church wrote us to say that they sang our song “With One Heart” in Spanish and English. As they sang, three Latino men who had been casually attending services came to the altar and began to pray. The men later said that when they heard their language in church, they knew they were at home. When you are at home, you can offer your heart to God in worship in your language together with your brothers and sisters in Christ.
We need your help to train churches and church leaders to stop saying “You are welcome as long as…” and start saying “Welcome home.”
We need your help to create more safe spaces for young people (many of whom have had to flee from their country of origin because of persecution) to express their deepest fears and their wildest dreams in God’s presence.
We need your help to welcome students from all over the world to experience the beauty and sacrifice of Jesus as they learn creative expression at our Proskuneo School of the Arts.