One of the topics that we spend a lot of time on in training new cross-cultural workers is the idea of understanding the context and culture of the people they are living among. How does language effect the understanding and the message of the Gospel? In what ways might worship and prayer and living in the Kingdom look a little different than what we have known in our home context of Texas or Georgia or North Carolina? How do we allow for culture and context to thrive while still making space for Jesus?
This video is a good representation of what we teach as we raise up new workers for the Kingdom - workers who are understanding and compassionate about culture. Take a second to hear from Richard Twiss, a member of the Lakota nation, as he talks about the importance of context and language and culture as people learn to follow Christ.
In my USA life, I was a teacher in Texas for 15 years. I was also a professional photographer, a soccer mom, a horsewoman, and the neighborhood hospitality queen. I did "Joanna Gaines farmhouse style" before Chip and JoJo were even a thing - we restored an 1884 Victorian farmhouse in small town Texas and did shiplap walls until I thought I'd go crazy. I taught at NASA, scuba dived with astronauts in training, and studied animals at Sea World for educational purposes. I've tried just about everything, because I have an insatiable need to know if I can do it! Never underestimate a Texas girl in cowboy boots!
In 2006, my husband Billy and I became cross-cultural workers (CCWs) with TMS Global. For five years, we served in three rural Quechua Wanca villages in the Andes of Peru. And when I say rural, I mean RURAL - like no potty! I spent my days in Peru learning to live a Quechua lifestyle in a rustic adobe house - cooking Peruvian foods, sewing with Quechua women, raising my chickens and goats and pigs, and planting my gardens. Now I live my life in small town Spain, serving other cross-cultural workers via teaching and training and care, and helping displaced people to navigate their new reality in Europe.
I'm passionate about fostering personal growth, growth in community, and growth in The Kingdom. Walking alongside others and helping them to use their unique design, their gifts and strengths and maximize their abilities to fulfill their God-given purpose - that's what makes my heart sing!