By Will Baker
As Americans we can be quite greedy when it comes to intercultural missionary experiences. Every summer our churches will send countless groups to do Kingdom Work overseas. Most of these groups will be short-term they will serve in this new context for a week or two.
The most important thing about these trips isn’t the work though, rather it’s how our hearts are broken and our minds transformed. I say we’re greedy because we monopolize these intercultural experiences often sending, rarely receiving.
Fortunately folks like Sue Smith of LUCHA ministries and Marisa Sanchez are doing incredible work, both sending and receiving, right here in Virginia. Have you ever heard of the Kuna people?
Neither had I but on Wednesday night our little country church on the Eastern Shore hosted a group of eleven of them who came all the way from the San Blas Islands of Panama. They were so different from us in their appearance, language and culture.
Their presence transformed our fellowship hall from a place of routine and habit into a room filled with astonishing interest. We heard their testimony through minds transformed as though we had traveled to the San Blas Islands ourselves.
We left with our hearts mending in a way that can only happen when something breaks them in a new and unexpected manner.
Direct fellowship between Christians of different cultures allows us to see our own context through a new lens. Allowing us to see ministry needs in our communities that have always been there, we just never noticed them.
The intercultural ministries of Sue Smith and Marisa Sanchez are a blessing for the Kingdom work happening here in Virginia. May the Holy Spirit guide your church in pursuing this blessing.