Last week I wrote “Ethnic People Can Give the Gospel and Plant Churches.”
Jean B Manirakiza wrote regarding the hesitancy people from other cultures feel. He is a friend who was born in Burundi, Africa. Notice, too, his insight on the working relationships needed for fulfilling the Great Commission. (Underlining is mine. More of his background at the end.)
“Thank you for another insightful and provocative (in a positive way) post. From an immigrant perspective, I agree with your statements and would only add that the cultural gap is one of the contributing factors in the misconceptions. For example, at least from where I come from, (Burundi, Africa) modesty/humility hinders a lot of people to assert their capabilities and may yield to the opinion that assertiveness is equivalent of knowledge and capability. As a result, we may believe that Americans are more capable of reaching people of ethnic background more than we do. Another minor issue we may deal with is the familiarity breeding contempt-remember that even Jesus’ siblings were not enthusiastic about his ministries until he ascended to heaven…that one always baffles me. But in the end, love for God remains the most powerful tool if we, American and ethnic people, hope to reach the lost in other cultures. Do we love God enough to seek his guidance in finding ways to bridge the cultural gaps and change our misconceptions of others? That’s my prayer! Thanks and may God grant us wisdom to care for the lost.”
[Jean was forced to leave Burundi when a civil war began. They were killing College students. He made his way to South Africa where he accepted Christ as savior through a church. After this he sought refugee status here and now has a government job in DC. He is active in Calvary Baptist, Alexandria, VA but has interests of serving our Lord in Africa some day.]
An American friend also wrote this week to say, “I work with a very diverse group of nurses who, 2 of them are here in the states and planning on going back to their country to minister there. Both are Calvin grads as are their husbands who plan to start agencies to minister to their own country men.”
My contention is that we are not listening to people who have perspectives on reaching the world. We have a lot to learn as well as a lot to give.
This may seem like a minor point but something is limiting the joint effort to share the Gospel worldwide.
Tell me what you think. Leave a comment here. Soon I want to talk about prayer for the nations as a beginning action step. Eldon, www.EthnictoEthnic.org.