Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What would YOU say?

[what's brewing: how do I answer that question?]

Over the past year, I’ve been asked a number of questions by visitors, friends & family, and the occasional friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend who is looking to make contact with someone in cross-cultural ministry. Some make me laugh, some reveal the shift in my perspective that has happened over the years, and some leave me stumped and struggling to formulate a clear answer.

One of my favorites was a question that came the day after I served the last of my precious cappuccino coffee mix stash to help warm a group of visitors who were freezing after being caught in the rain.

Question: “You’re all out of that coffee mix? Where I can go to get some more? ”

Answer: Um, back to the US at your local grocery store! And mail me some while you’re at it!!

As I’ve been thinking about some of these questions lately, I’ve been wondering: what would YOU say?

So now I present to you a selection of 3 questions to respond to this week. What would YOU say if someone asked you:

1. So what is it exactly that you do?
2. Why does everyone honk so much here? (I realize this may not apply to all of you! If not, please substitute a question from your own experience here and tell us your response.)
3. What is the number one thing you want to see God do here?

I can’t wait to hear what you have to say!


Katherine said...

#2: that's how the traffic works here, you need to tell ppl you are coming, its rude not to honk if you are coming up behind someone

Libby said...

#1: Wash dishes, wash clothes, wash kids...Just kidding.
This is how I'd really answer this question right now at this stage of our ministry:
Listen and observe the language and culture I am wanting to understand. Spend time with the people in order to develop a relationship with them.

#2: Honking is how you let everyone know what you want on the road. Or that you want the garage door open...my husband literally just got home and honked for my son to open the door.Lol!

#3: I want to see God strip away the blinders from the people's eyes so they can see the Truth and let it take root and change their lives and the lives of those around them.

I love the comment about using the last of your Cappuccino mix! I've thought the same thing! :)

Becky Aguirre said...

#1 is a hard one for us to answer, kinda complicated! First of all, we work with an organization that helps tribal people in the "sierra" (mountains)...but as a family, we help the new missionaries arriving from other countries learn the Spanish language and culture during their first two years in Mexico. Then, of course, that raises all kinds of other questions...

Another question I've been asked that is also hard to answer is: Where do you feel more comfortable/where would you rather live, here in Mexico (or Colombia, or Venezuela) or back in the U.S.? I'm an MK, so I tend to miss being wherever it is that I'm NOT living at any one particular point in time...

The silliest question I've ever been asked in the U.S. growing up was, "When your family goes to Colombia (for four years at a time), do you take all the food with you that you will need while you are there?" LOL!

Anonymous said...

#1: We do support work with the nationals so the nationals can be freed up to do the work they've been called to do.

#2: Bc everybody looks out for themselves! You honk to let people, buses, cars, dogs know you're coming and as a courtesy when you're passing. Don't trust anybody; honking assures you that they were fore-warned you were coming.

#3: We want to see the kids here at Bible school serve the Lord in their hometowns, elsewhere in Peru, and overseas. We want to see hope brought to areas that previous had none. We want to impact children for the Lord and see churches strengthened.

Beth Niquette said...

Well...for one I'm a jack of all trades.

Wife, Mom, Friend, minister, missionary, dramatist, musician, artist, singer, composer, author, writer, speaker . . . when I see these titles, the most important thing I could say, is that I do what I do to the Glory of God.

Tim and Susan said...

Now that we are missionaries on home assignment...answering #2 is even harder...usually they look at us blankly and ask, "Aren't you going to get a (real) job while you are here in the U.S?" Sigh.

I have to admit I feel on the defense trying to justify why we are so busy and tired not working a "real job".

But the worst question we have been asked on home assignment when we are back in the US from Japan is, "How was China?" ha ha sniff sniff


Shan in Japan said...

#1 Now that I am on home assignment I have that question times 2! What do you do in Japan? And, what are you doing during your 9 month vacation in the US?! Since not everyone understands the terminology we use I say that I am helping to start a new church in Japan (I say the same thing in Japanese because most Japanese people have not heard the words we use at church to describe church planting) Explaining what home assignment is about takes a little longer. I usually just say that I am visiting churches in the area to tell them about Japan and ministry there. In Japan I could just tell my friends that I had work to do in the US, too, and they accepted that without explanation.

#2 People rarely honk their horns in Japan but I do get the same question that Susan referred to, "What is it like in China?"

#3 I wan to see God raise up Japanese servant leaders to lead the next generation to faith in Christ.

Kristy said...

I really dislike the first question. Especially because we've just been here a year and are trying to get our bearings. We are a new team, so it is a matter of figuring out just exactly what we are doing! When you aren't sure yourself sometimes, then it becomes harder to answer that question. Ultimately we are facilitating a local church to do church planting, but what that looks like on a day to day basis is hard to explain. Sigh...and now I've gone from being the missionary to being the missionary wife. I'm still not sure what that actually looks like. :-)

#2 - that's how you let the person double parked behind you know to come and get their car!

#3 - Oh we have so many hopes! To see the Asian church grow and multiply. To see the majority culture embrace Christ fully without reservation and fear of persecution. To see the church take a stand and face the persecution head on. There is so much fear here. To see leaders built up and churches planted. To see the gospel grow deep in people's lives. To see people experience God's grace fully and completely! To be peacemakers.


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