Well, week #1 of pre-field training at The Center for Intercultural Training is complete. Overwhelmed, tired, brain dead, exhausted, excited, amazed, blessed….just a few of the things that we are feeling.
- Overwhelmed with all that we DON’T know
- Tired from early mornings – it has been a long, long time since all five of us have had to get up and out of the house by 8am for 5 days in a row
- Brain dead from all the wonderful information that is being poured into us.
- Excited to be taking another step toward GOING to South Africa
- Amazed at the great teachers who are so willing to share their knowledge about living cross culturally with us; they are also sharing life with us which is also amazing
- Blessed to be in the beautiful North Carolina mountains during this time; blessed with the cool weather; blessed with the amazing new friendships that are blooming; blessed to be able to share this time with a group of people who are in the same situation we are; blessed to live in community with these people if only for a short time; blessed by amazing young ladies who are willing to invest their time with the girls.
You might be wondering what we are learning. Well, we are learning about culture. We have been stretched beyond ourselves. I have to admit that until this week I have never really thought about culture. Culture has always been around; however, I just didn’t feel like it was really relevant. I really thought that it was just the clothing that people wore, the food they ate, and their behaviors. I mean, I knew that we all lived in a certain culture. And my culture varies from the culture that we will be moving into. But, this week, culture threw me for a loop. Now my thought process related to culture are swimming around in the swirling sea without even a life vest to save me. Now, I do not blame culture for this confusion. I am not resistant to the fact that culture is so much more than I imagined. It is the lack of forethought that has brought me to this point.
First, who knew that culture was in the garden with Adam and Eve. I mean I guess it only makes sense but it’s just not something that has ever crossed my mind. Culture has been around a LONG time. And culture was affected by the fall of man. It’s not cultures fault that it was spread throughout this earth in so many different ways. Cultural differences are result of sin. Wow…can you see why I have been overwhelmed.
Today we played a culture game. We were divided into four groups. Each group had a certain culture they had to role play. Then we mixed it up with other cultures. It was so tiring….so frustrating….so fun to be mixed into a group with a culture that you didn’t understand. Differences in culture are……
“Not right, Not wrong….just differently. Definitely not weird and sometimes better.”
I know that there are things that I will not understand. Words, although English, will get jumbled and used incorrectly. I might value something differently than my new South African friends. Will my “Americanism” be so strong and overpowering that they won’t see Christ in me. I certainly pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to walk alongside me as culture challenges me.
It is probably difficulty for some of you to follow my randomness….after all, we all process things differently. That is something else we learned. Amazing….Ron and I are total opposites Mindstyles…..okay, you probably already knew that.
Remember, you can help us Go to South Africa by partnering with you monthly. We are at 77%…so close! We would love to have you partnering with us. Just click the link below and use designation code 400.144 to start you monthly partnership today.