This is a guest-post by Charlie Human, Youth Worker at Good Shepherd Mission. His young (mainly Christian) people joined Muslim young people from Leaders In Community.
The travel encounters experience was brilliant. I loved getting to know the other group, what a bunch of articulate and graceful young women. I was very encouraged about their openness and willingness to have fun! The girls from my group tend to stick together a lot and I think found it hard to overly engage with strangers, but they were really up for asking questions about Islam and some of its traditions. Most notably asking about Halal meat and why its classed as impure/why it needs to be killed in a certain way. A couple of the young Muslim girls were really open to try their best to explain their understanding of that topic. I think the conversation guidelines allowed for great conversations.
I think it’s a real positive to have workers of different faiths on these trips too because young people are often shy around new young people and therefore don’t talk as much. Having adults who are confident to get alongside another group (even for a day trip) and ask them questions about their faith, really helps them to speak about it more.
Good conversations tend to stem from good relationships, so going forward it’d be a good idea to try and do more joined-up work with the same mixed group to allow them to get to know each other better. Once good relationships are formed, good conversation will come more naturally.