As Christ’s followers, we are called to go forth and make disciples. There are over 40,000 languages in the world, spread across 193 different nations. There is temptation to be overwhelmed by the vast number of different ethnic groups and cultures represented, until one is reminded that we all have one thing in common—we are all created in the image of God and we are His children.
It is critically important, however, to recognize that as different ethnic groups operate from different value systems the gap for communication error or misinterpretation is great. Although one’s intention may be genuinely to love and serve, it may be filtered through a set of principles from a completely different perspective.
Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians that part of our service to others is to recognize who they are and to humble ourselves to become one whom they can easily receive and trust.
As wheelchairs are distributed in developing countries, local partners are able to quickly identify and adopt important cultural norms. Establishing rapport and developing smooth communication with key representatives is vital. From a place of trust, receptivity to the transforming power of the gospel is opened wide.
- For clear and easily understood communication.
- For unity among FWM partners, volunteers and wheelchair recipients.
- That those working with others from different cultures would be able to expand their understanding of God through a culture other than their own.
1 Corinthians 1:10, Psalm 133:1, Ephesians 4:11-13