Sunday, December 10, 2006


part of being a missionary is learning to fit in. if i want to be able to communicate something that my neighbors, friends at church, and others will actually respect and hear -- i need to understand their culture on at least an elementary level. know what things to say and what not to say, know generally how to dress, know what attitudes and actions are acceptable .. (there's a whole lot more, but this is just the basic idea.) which could be classified as "fitting in".

wait a minute ...

i don't even really "fit in" in my own culture. i'm usually an outsider. not that i particularly want to be an insider .. [okay. let me say that i don't think american culture is bad. but there are some aspects of it that are not Christ-like. and if i'm truly seeking to follow Christ, it means not just following culture but following Truth. seeking truth. daring to be different in certain worthwhile cases. daring to push boundaries and ask healthy questions.]

realization: i do know how to be a cultural insider in my own culture. basically. i choose not to. i want to become able to be a cultural insider here too. not that i will suddenly be romanian or forget my own culture -- but to know and accept the culture. then -- i will have freedom to push boundaries and ask questions and wonder about what's cultural and what's Christ-like. once i know how to be 'normal' -- i can help others become 'weird'. if that makes sense.

fitting in. being normal. being weird. asking questions. being accepted. feeling at home. feeling uneasy. any thoughts, readers?

1 comment:

Amy said...

You have stated very clearly the challenge of cross-cultural ministry. How do you come from a place where you understand "in the world but not of it" to a completely new culture with different expectations and truths that are, in many ways, against what you have always known to be true?

I would expect that learning the culture, even with valient study, would take several years. Maybe God is using this opportunity to teach you new things about being home, yet recognizing that this is not your home.