One indicator of a healthy church is whether or not cross-cultural missionaries are being raised up from within the congregation (whether to serve locally or overseas). Here is a newsletter of one young couple I know. They tell of their preparation process in their plan to move to Africa. Get a flavor of their experience!……
“Recently we have enjoyed African friendships near our hometown. Anne* from our church was born and raised in Kenya and immigrated to the states over 25 years ago. She invited us over to her home to meet some of her family and friends. While there Stephanie had the opportunity to learn how to make stew and ugali which is a popular Kenyan dish. When adding spices to the stew she asked Anne which measurements to use. She said, “Oh, Stephanie, just put it in the pot.” They both started laughing as they realized how much Stephanie had to learn.
“Around the dinner table we were able to hear stories about growing up in Kenya. Our friends also shared about some of the adjustments that they had to make while first living in America. For instance, it took some time getting used to purchasing packaged chicken in the store since they were used to slaughtering it themselves at home. Packaged chicken even had a different flavor to what they were accustomed.
” We also asked for advice in how to relate well with Africans. They shared that Americans are much more time-oriented, and Africans tend to be more relational. We felt humbled later on when individuals intently thanked us for going to Africa as missionaries. It was so encouraging when one friend sincerely said, “You are going to do fine. You are going to make it.” We ended our evening standing in a circle. Jeff and I were told that we are a part of their family even though we have different skin colors. We held hands and fervently prayed together as a unified body in Jesus Christ.
“Our African friends are an inspiration to us. They have moved far away from home and have adapted to a different culture. As Josh and I have started going through our belongings, our move to Africa is becoming more of a reality. It is our prayer that we will be effective learners and transition well to a new way of life in Africa.
*names changed throughout