✪ We had another great Sunday. Because of our moving and remodeling and the lack of space during the transition, we have just been having the Sunday morning service for the last two weeks on Sunday. But we were given the key to the new place we rented today, so we should start getting back to our normal Sunday schedule next week and re-start the kids club next month.
✪ This has been a long week. I have done a lot of counseling and working through different problems with those in the church. It isn’t always fun, but it is always needed and always worth the time to invest in someone else’s life…even if you don’t get anything else done that day.
✪ I heard someone say you become the sum of the 5 people you are around the most. This made me think about how this applies to learning the language? Let me give it a go: Your language will become the sum of the 5 people you talk to (or communicate with) the most. So in China, if you are learning the language, you need to ask yourself, who are the five people I talk to the most every week (excluding spouse and kids)? Do you talk to 5 people within a week? Do you talk in Chinese or English? (Includes all forms of communication, face-to-face or Facebook.) If the 5 people you talk to the most every week aren’t talking to you in Chinese then you probably won’t learn the language. If some of the 5 people you talk to the most every week are talking to you in Chinese then you might learn the language. If the 5 people you talk to the most every week are talking to you in Chinese then you most likely will learn the language.
✪ In the quote below, there are three areas that are mentioned as problems for missionaries adjusting to a new culture during their first term on the field. The three areas mentioned are relationships, ministry, and expectations. I would agree with this. Relationships are hard to form under the stress of a new culture and we become self-focused and forget to love one another. Ministry is often harder to do and many don’t know how to go about it or they get so busy with surviving their new life that they don’t have time to serve. Expectations are set really high before arriving or one thinks others have set these unrealistic expectations for them and the weight of the language and new culture often causes them not to live up to it. Whatever aspect the author is looking at these three areas from, struggling to adjust to new relationships, not finding fulfillment in ministry and failing expectations all can crush one’s spirit. Missionaries can easily fall into the trap of thinking about how much better their relationships, ministry, and ability to fulfill expectations were in America. It is a struggle of the mind and a missionary needs encouragement and ultimately connect these three areas with his true identity in Christ. Only after this is done can we work through the practical problems that arise on the field.