What a welcome

What’s the best welcome you’ve ever received?

The photo in this post shows the most remarkable welcome I was ever given. It was taken in India back in 2003 when a close friend and I were there as guests of the Bible Society.

It was our first visit to India and I’d just finished cycling from Agra, the home of the Taj Mahal , to Delhi. The ride was part of a ‘rally’ for Peace, Prosperity and Harmony in India. I was the only Australian cyclist among a team of Indian riders.

I knew that I was a ‘guest of honour’ of sorts but I didn’t realise the full impact of that until we arrived at India Gate in Delhi to see hundreds of school children waving flags and banners as well as holding up messages of welcome.

The welcome certainly wasn’t just for me or our team. It was the Bible Society’s 50th Anniversary of working in the north of India and so there were many church officials and even the Chief Minister of Delhi there as part of the celebrations.

As we cycled towards the assembled crowd I started noticing a few signs with my name on them. They read “Welcome Mr Rodney Olsen to Peace, Prosperity and Harmony for our Nation.” You can click on the photo to see a larger view of the sign.

Being so far from home and having just completed a rather amazing ride I must say that the event took my breath away.

I was interviewed by local media and greeted by all the officials. It was surreal.

What’s the most amazing welcome you’ve ever received? Maybe you felt nervous the first time you met your partner’s family only to find you were welcomed with open arms. Have you ever been given a welcome you didn’t expect?

Posted by Rodney Olsen

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About the author

Rodney Olsen

Rodney is a husband, father, cyclist, blogger and podcaster from Perth Western Australia.

He previously worked in radio for about 25 years but these days he spends his time at Compassion Australia, working towards releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name.

The views he expresses here are his own.

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