Name

Email

Choose Password

Retype Password

Close Menu

Missionaries Need to Learn to Be Normal

Tags: Culture and Language, Mission News, Prayer
POSTED ON Jun 19, 2016 by David Pierce

Actions Speak ...

“I never trust someone who walks on tiptoe.”

Whether young Randy Smyth had been trying to reduce the noise of his shoes or pretending to hunt wild game, the fact that he had been walking on his toes communicated to a well-respected pastor that Randy was untrustworthy.

… Louder Than Words.

But where Randy grew up in the jungle as a missionary kid, walking on tiptoes was a matter of escaping the bites of the ever- present fire ants.  “About every other step across the jungle paths were billions of ants. They look like rivers across the path. Step in one river of ants and hundreds of ants will be biting your foot and crawling up your leg within seconds.”

Randy grew up to be a missionary pilot, and later a mission representative.

Learning How to “Speak”

What was a survival mechanism in one place communicated dishonesty in another. What made the difference? Culture! Randy explains, “We don’t know what we don’t know and assume everyone thinks like we do. We think we are communicating one thing and all the while we are communicating something different.”

Today missionaries around the world face similar circumstances as they study culture and language, learning what is “normal” for the people they seek to minister to. Why are they studying culture and language? In order to effectively communicate as they translate and teach the Scriptures to unreached people groups. To see a thriving church for every people.

We don’t know what we don’t know and assume everyone thinks like we do. We think we are communicating one thing and all the while we are communicating something different.”
Tweet this quote

Would you follow the journey of a missionary studying culture and language?