Everyone Needs to Hear!
We say this often. It’s our passion. This is what missions is all about: The unreached need to be reached with the Gospel. They need to hear the message of Christ.. and we believe they deserve to hear it in their heart language.
What Does “Hear” Really Mean?
If they misunderstand our message, have they “heard” it? If they reject it because we communicated poorly, have they really been evangelized? If they mix parts of God’s truth with their existing beliefs, have they been “reached”?
The answer to each question is No.
Culture is Important…
Language fluency is important. But it’s not enough! A big part of what Bill does is to help missionaries learn language and culture so that they can effectively communicate the gospel. Clearly. So it will be understood. So the Unreached can respond with faith to the truth of the Gospel. So they won’t simply put faith in their own misunderstanding of the Gospel.
Missionaries need to be able to get inside the head of their audience. We must understand what the Unreached believe… what they think—even their unconscious preconceptions—and most importantly, how might they misunderstand the Gospel.
THIS IS IMPORTANT: Missionaries don’t study the culture in order to change the message to make it more palatable! We do not change the Gospel to make it fit the worldview of the audience. Rather, we learn the culture and worldview so that we know how the audience might misunderstand; how they might make the message fit their preconceptions. When we can anticipate how they will misunderstand, we can teach in a way which will avoid that… a way where God’s truth can be clearly understood.
We don’t change the Gospel; we want to see the Gospel–clearly communicated–change people’s thinking.
Recently, Bill took two trips to Ethnos360’s training center in Missouri to meet with others on his team as they develop the updated CLA (Culture & Language Acquisition) training materials for missionaries worldwide. The second set of meetings focused on helping missionaries gain insight into the worldview of their audience, and who to deal with potential misunderstanding of the Gospel message.
This has been a year of doctor visits (32 and counting): ER, urgent care, doctors, ultrasounds, CT scans, an MRI, injections, physical therapy… whew! Since our last update, Bill has seen great progress in recovering from his pelvic bone/muscle injury. He spends hours each week faithfully following his physical therapist’s instructions, and that has made a big difference! He can walk around now without pain, and can even climb stairs. But he still needs to set some limits.
On top of all that, this week he has a kidney stone removal procedure (on September 14). Please pray for that to go well with no complications. Pray that it will not interfere with his teaching at Radius International the following week.
Updates coming soon on:
- teaching at Radius International
- development of culture/language learning software
- a language consulting trip to Mexico in November
- plans to revisit Asia Pacific in January
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