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Making disciples among the unreached
     

Look out for Cultural Icebergs

Tags: SEND North, Story

Who are your friends? What makes them a friend to you? If you are like most people, you naturally gravitate toward people who see the world in a way similar to yours.   You see, it is easy to tolerate diversity on smaller things like musical styles or food preferences.  However, it is harder to connect with people who have major differences in lifestyle and priorities.  How easy is it to connect with those who are not native English speakers?  It can be tempting to equate their language ability with their intelligence. 

In today's world, it seems even harder to connect with someone who has different beliefs about marriage, religion, or politics.  All of these things are aspects of our personal cultural expressions.  As Ambassadors for Christ, each of us has the mandate to reach across the cultural divide to bring the Good News. God is at work in the 60/70 Window as we strive to cross cultures.

Look at the graphic above.  It wonderfully demonstrates all the aspects of culture and how most is lurking 'under the surface'.  Every cross-cultural worker knows what it is like to offend someone by hitting a piece of their submerged cultural values.  In fact, too many ministries have resembled the maiden voyage of the Titanic.  If you run too hard into a Cultural Iceberg with a bad attitude you can sink your chances of building a meaningful relationship.  You may even get thrown out of a village for a careless word spoken online.  It has happened!   It makes sense, especially when one is dealing with deeply held religious beliefs.

Religious beliefs are a deep part of who we are as humans.  It takes time and genuine, mutual trust to dig deep into someone's spirituality and share Christ in a significant way.

With all of this in mind, it is understandable that one of our teammates served in a village for 30 years before the locals admitted, 'you are one of us'.  It takes patience, sensitivity, and perseverance to reach an individual, let alone a village, who lives this far north.

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