‘Our European lives, marriage and family’
My name is Cédric. I was born in Belgium. However, the challenge of defining my national identity has been a long-term struggle. As my name suggests, I was born in an Italian family but have never lived in Italy so far. It took me more or less 30 years to even begin to make sense of myself. For me Europe is a land of different tribes living together, rooted in the same Christian values. It is only through the person of Jesus that I have been able to make sense of Europe as a whole and of myself as an individual. And it is an on-going process.
My name is Elina. I was born in Finland but basically spent my childhood in England where my parents were working as missionaries among Indian immigrants. Due to a very multicultural beginning, I ended up feeling like a walking civil war of cultures in my early twenties. Thanks to great Christian counseling and God’s healing touch, I found out that He was able to reconcile me to myself. The armistice was signed in time for me to be able to marry a man with a cross-cultural background himself! Now our daily life is Italian-Belgian-Finnish-English and all four languages flow between us and our girls.
Our cultural differences are numerous – yet we find our glue in the gospel. When we are at a loss to know how to see any given issue, we can always find an answer when we return to the Bible. In fact, our common Christian culture is stronger than our cultural differences. And the beauty of Christianity is that it encourages unity at the same time as it embraces and allows for diversity. This is one of the main lessons we are learning in our European lives, marriage and family. And we believe that the same principle applies for Europe! We can be united in diversity, if we share our Christian faith.
Cédric & Elina