March 1, 2012

A time to learn


This week my class was that, Worldview. I think this course needs another name. I think Stories-Communication-How To Spread the Gospel 101 would do. I can be honest and say that I was not looking forward to taking the class, especially because we would be sitting in it for 6 hours a day. But, I was surprised on how good it was. We had a professor from the states fly in to teach the class (which is why we had 6 hour days including 3 hours on Sunday). This professor was pretty legit, he had been in a lot of places, doing a lot of amazing things, and has a lot of creditably to his teaching. He is not a professor that teaches and does not apply. This professor is actively doing what he teaches; which is a great example.

I want to write a little bit about what I learned, so this my get boring to some people, but its worth reading. This class focused on what it meant to have Intercultural Intelligence. That means "the ability to create new cultural spaces to facilitate win-win situations by correctly anticipating, interpreting, and adjusting to the cultural behaviors." Ok, I realize that was a lot of big words and may not make complete sense. But if you have ever been in a new cultural environment this is a working definition. But if you can't relate then the short definition is: the ability to make a 3rd space in yourself to learn about a new cultural and new people. 

For me I have been able to really use this definition while I live in my home stays. It honestly takes energy to make another 'space' to learn about someone in a different cultural. It takes energy to learn about another person's story. Their story is where you will be able to see their worldview. Their worldview depicts on how they see the world, how it started, how it is, and how it will end. In other words, Creation, Fall, Redemption and New Creation.

The second thing that I was able to take from this class, was that even though (when I grow up) I may not have a job that is direct missions doesn't mean I shouldn't be expanding God's kingdom. Whatever profession I may take, whether sacred or secular, I should work to bear the gospel. We went through a lot of the big professions like Business, Health Care, Education, Politics etc and talked about what bearing the gospel looks like. Even though "Event Planning" or "Motherhood" was not on that list I was able to find aspects in those professions where I could relate. (To all new readers I say motherhood not because I am a mom, but because that is the desire of my heart- see other posts). It was encouraging to hear that I did not have to be a missionary or youth leader or pastor to spread the gospel.

The best part about this class was I was told how to share the gospel. I learned how important it is to learn a person's story (remembering to use the 3rd culture space) in order to share the gospel with them. When I know a person's story I can share the gospel that relates to them the most. For example, if someone struggles with the idea of family because their family is broken, I can share with them that in Christ we have a family. We have brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts etc and the Father. For them they will be able to better relate to the gospel because they can relate to not having a family. Then, I can share the whole story of the gospel. How cool is that?

One last thing I want to share with you all. This is super encouraging to any of you who are art inclined. I was taught that even though I may not be a creative person, I must be creative because I am the image of God. God created me- therefore God was creative. If I bear God's image then I must be creative or innovative in life.

Does any of this make sense? I hope so. I know I am not doing this class justice but these are just a few things I wanted to process more, and share with you all. I would love to talk to anyone more about what I learned.

 I hope I did not bore you to much.

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