“This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” -Heb.4:15-16
|“Don’t be a weirdo. Act like an American.””Stay to the right, not the left.” “Say ‘hi,’ not ‘good day.'” “Say ‘No problem,’ not ‘No worries.'” “If you see something in a store, you can wait to buy it. It will still be there when you get back.” “If you need to run an errand, it’s fine to go alone.” “No one cares if you show your knees.” “Don’t talk to everyone you see.” “When someone says there will be a wait, they mean 5 minutes, not 2 hours.” “I don’t have to order something I need 4 months in advance.” “I can do laundry on a rainy day.” “Leggings are apparently pants now.” “Talk about the weather for small talk- it changes.” “Asking a stranger where they are going is not how you start a conversation.” “Remember to check prices and brands at stores- there are multiple options.” “No one is looking at you.”|
These are all little reminders that I have whispered to myself in the past month. When a missionary goes to a new country, they spend time in language and culture study, observing those around them, and learning to adapt to their culture as much as possible. As missionaries coming back into the U.S., we are trying to do the same kind of culture study, noticing things we have forgotten or that have changed. As with foreign culture study, the most easily noticeable things are what people wear, how they greet each other, and what their daily routines are. After that, the missionary can begin to understand the deeper things- important values, hidden meanings behind words, and what makes people tick.
In Papua New Guinea, NTM missionaries actually live full time in the villages in which they minister. This comes with significant challenges, but is necessary because it allows missionaries to really be a part of the lives of those to whom they are ministering and to begin to understand these unwritten rules and hidden aspects of culture. (That’s where we come in- as support missionaries, we enable them to stay in their villages rather than having to come out frequently to deal with logistical issues!)
This is also what Jesus did. He came and lived as a man, and He really understands our struggles, our hurts, our dreams, our passions, our temptations, our relationships, and our experiences.
So, when you feel like no one understands, come to Jesus. He does.
And ignore that weird lady at Chipotle wearing jeans and taking forever to decide what she wants. She’s just not used to this fast-paced American lifestyle yet.
Till all know,
Matt, Karissa, Ty, and Wyck
– He has abundantly answered our prayers for rest and rejuvenation this month
– We are enjoying reconnecting with family and friends
– We have been able to schedule most of our needed appointments
– Our kids have handled the transition really well
– That Karissa can get an appointment with her neurologist at Mayo
– That we can use our time wisely
– For our upcoming trip to Missouri
– That we can be good witnesses to our neighbors
We got to start off our home assignment time by going on a wonderful family vacation up north! Matt’s sister and her son came from California to visit us!
|This month’s tribal focus: Pray for the Maliyali people|
“As each of our missionary teams move into a new location, they have certain milestones they are working toward. The first is learning the culture and language of the people. The next is to teach the people to read and write in their own language, so that they will be able to read God’s Word for themselves in the language that speaks most clearly to their hearts.
In July 2020, in partnership with literacy consultants and the Maliyali people, the Maliyali missionary team kicked off the development of their literacy program.”
Pray for the missionaries and literacy students in Maliyali. Pray that they can teach and learn well so that one day the Maliyali people can read God’s Word!