It’s the little things, the mundane, that cause me to fail as a cross-cultural witness.
On the other hand, the catastrophes and emergencies — these events are catalyzers for my witness:
A colleague has been kidnapped.
Or, a believer is undergoing severe persecution.
When these things happen, my husband and I call our prayer networks. We fast and pray as a team. We pour over Scripture and cry out to the Lord. The body of Christ comes together in unity and it bonds with stronger cords of oneness.
It is a heavy time, but the joy of seeking the Lord together is exhilarating. We show others that we are serious about our faith. If God answers our prayers, we praise Him. If God doesn’t answer, we choose to trust Him for the outcome He’s ordained.
In contrast, it’s in my everyday life as a cross-cultural worker where I’m more likely to complain and resort to self-reliance.
It’s those times when there is no water pressure, and my pitiful shower barely rinses the shampoo from my hair. Or the water runs out, and I use a few cups of water from the fridge to make do grumbling the whole time.
Or it’s the times when I drive to the store and one car nearly hits my bumper, another darts out in front of me, and I scowl yelling some choice words about the crazy drivers in this country. When I get to the store, there is no fresh milk. Don’t these grocers know that milk is a staple? In the U.S., the stores always have milk. I pout as I refuse to buy the powdered or boxed long-life milk again.
It’s the times when I’m going to the bank and find a parking place three blocks away, only to find that the bank is closed for one of the country’s many holidays.
I return home, and find that the electricity is off, so I can’t send that newsletter thanking our supporters for their generosity.
It’s those everyday things that cause me to struggle to be the bride of Christ, to serve others, to have joy in the journey.
I need to remember the lovely things of this culture — the hospitality, the fresh fruits and vegetables, which are organic and cheap, and my friends. I need to find humor in the things I don’t understand and ask God for patience when frustration creeps in.
Passages of Scripture I’ve found that help me follow the Lord in the mundane often focus on obedience (1 Samuel 15:22). I’m encouraged by verses about staying the course (Matthew 28:19 and John 13:35).
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Source: Baptist Press