At Once

At once I see perfectly

And then the light grows dim

At once I know the depths

But stay here in the shallows

At once I cry with longing

And then my caring wanes

If I could save the world

would I do it today?

Mr. Latif's Mennonites

It was one of those global moments, when distant worlds collide, though this kind of thing has almost become commonplace for us as Canadians living in New Delhi, India.

I received a call the other day from a good friend of mine named Raghib Latif. We've known Raghib since soon after we moved to Delhi. We met in our neighbourhood through mutual friends. Since then, we've become good friends.

Raghib is a Muslim and we have frequently enjoyed talking about our common faith in God as well as some of the key differences between what Christians and Muslims believe. I've also had opportunity to share with him about my heritage as a Mennonite. He was interested, though I can't say I really expected him to even remember the word, Mennonite.

Well, he did.

Raghib is also a manager at a travel agency that has corporate clients from all over the world. He has a lot of connections in tourism in India and has helped us out on a number of occasions to get reduced rates on hotel bookings. His specialty, however, is organizing tour groups from outside of India.

Today when he called me, he happily announced that he was in the midst of booking a tour for a group of Mennonites from Canada.

How's that? Do you think he knows any other Mennonites from Canada who live in Delhi?

He doesn't.

I asked how I could help. He laughed and said, there's nothing, at least not now. He just wanted to tell me about them, and if perhaps I want to meet them when they come through Delhi later this year, he'd gladly arrange it. The visiting Mennonites might find it interesting that Mr. Latif has a friend from their clan living in his neighbourhood in Delhi.

Thanks, Raghib. Yes, it's a small world after all.

*If you have no idea what a Mennonite is, google it. If you're curious about Mennonites in India, check out the article on my blog from early 2008 at