Be A Learner

Tags: Alaska, Canada, SEND North, Story

We minister within our own respective countries but in different cultures.   We can speak our own language, pay with our own currency, and have familiar foods but we can't assume that we know how to reach our host culture.   Culture is like the water a fish swims in, nearly imperceptible to the fish.  Stories abound of missionaries who went ill-prepared into a village assuming they knew how to 'do ministry' and none of those stories ended well! So, we strive to keep an attitude of a learner which is easier for some of our teammates.  


We are blessed to have team mates from four different countries.  They are in a new culture.  While it gives them a larger learning curve, it allows them to see issues which we might otherwise miss.  Needless to say, that makes them a valuable part of our team.


One of my favorite quotes is from our German teammate. “We like to teach the people, but at the same time, they teach us all the time.”   Can you hear the spirit of humility and openness?   How much easier is it to build relationships when people can feel that you see them as an equal?  A practical example is the actions of another teammate.  This single guy has built strong relationships with local elders by asking them to teach him about northern survival. 


How about you?  What can you learn from your unsaved neighbors?  How can you build a bridge?  The key is to truly, deeply care and not see them as a project.  I think we all can benefit from being a learner.


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