Ask questions, ask questions, and ask more questions: Lessons learned from Cross Cultural Ministry

Cultures different from our own can be intimidating.

People from different cultural perspectives may think differently from us, act differently from us, and even value different things than we do.

But goodness God does beautiful things to each of us, and our relationships when we step outside of our own culture for a moment and enter into another.

Missionaries Christel Neuendorf and Rachel Jaseph join  me in conversation to talk about lessons learned from cross cultural ministry.

I sat down and expected a discussion of language and communication struggles, learning where to go, and what to do in a new land, instead my heart and mind were opened to the reality that

culture is across the globe, but also right outside my door.

I think the lessons in today’s podcast will serve us all well, not only for ministry and knowing our neighbors outside of the United States, but for the work we have to do with meeting our neighbors everywhere.

A few of my favorite lessons you’ll hear include:

When in doubt, ask questions.

Often we think of poverty in financial terms, but there is also the reality of poverty of community.

Relationships first. Always.

When not in doubt, ask questions.

Be present with the people God puts in front of you.

Get out, go into your community and find out more, learn more, grow more.

Ask more questions.

Written in Iron Ink: Cross Cultural Ministry –

You can find Rachel and Christel and more information about their ministry at the following links:

Entrepreneurial Ministry and Friendship that Inspires

People are my jam.

I love people. More than that I love friendship.

I love meeting people where they are and hearing their story.

This Fall we were invited to friendship and invited to hear a story of culture, and relationship, and ministry, first hand. We spent ten days in Spain, staying up too late, having meaningful conversation, watching copious amounts of Star Trek, eating at a plethora of cafes, exploring, and doing daily life with people, who happened to be missionaries, happened to love Jesus, and happened to also be all about inviting people in deeper, so much so that they designed their ministry around just that –

inviting people in.

Meraki Exchange Point is the dream child of the Holy Spirit, Nathanael, and Courtney Mosier Warren. It has come out of love and life in a culture very different from the ones they were raised in, far removed from traditional church life and ministry.

Nathanael and Courtney fell in love with the Basque people several years ago, and then fell into the warmth of these people and their culture in Northeastern Spain when they moved there. Their deepest desire is to share the Hope of Christ with the Basque around them, particularly in the small, but bustling town of Oñati, Spain.

In doing this, they discovered a need – two needs actually:

The desire of most locals to learn English and have their children learn English for business and educational purposes

The desire to converse, to ask deep questions, and build genuine relationships around a cup of café, in a low key, inviting environment

And so Meraki Exchange Point was born – an English language school and cafe, where people can learn, grow, ask questions, make relationships, and bring friends.

Nate and Courtney have been honest with their Basque friends sharing their own desire to plant a church there, but sometimes that’s not the first ministry step. Sometimes God has plans that look a little different than we first expect.

Hear Nate and Courtney’s story and more on entrepreneurial ministry in today’s podcast:

Written in Iron Ink:  Entrepreneurial Ministry

Connect with Nathanael and Courtney:

Meraki Ministry Concept Video

@merakiexchangepoint on Instagram

@Mexchangepoint on Twitter

Support the Meraki Exchange Point project!

Written in Iron Ink: Love the Sojourner

We live in a world that bats around the term “refugee crisis.”

Actually, we batted that around a few months ago and now we’ve moved on to something different.

That’s how we roll.

But what about all the refugees? What about the people whose lives are turned upside down by war, government mandates, religious persecution, violence, disaster, and all of the other unimaginables that my mind can’t quite grasp in my comfortable home in Nebraska?

God’s Word is clear about two matters that we address in this podcast with special guest, missionary Kim Bueltmann:

First, there are those whom God puts in our path that are in need of refuge.

Deuteronomy 10:19 invites us further up and further in to the matter:

 Love the sojourner, therefore, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt. 

We ourselves are sojourners on this earth. Everything we have, we borrow. What a remarkable thing that God allows us to share what isn’t ours to begin with! As Kim points out, God, as always, brings beauty and light, where Satan would try to only bring destruction. The refugee crisis is no exception.

Second, God invites us in.

Kim reminds us that He is gladly yes, our Rock, our Redeemer, but also our Refuge.

He has also been there. As we round the corner to celebrate the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons, we remember all that we have been given and mostly a God who deigns to come to us, as a sojourner, a refugee, a baby in need of a pillow, the Son of God in need of a place to rest his head.

I could make this more complicated. I could give infinite reasons to care for refugees and to reach out our hands in love and in relationship to those who are immigrants, strangers in a scary foreign land, but I won’t. I’ll leave it at God’s Word of Hope:

For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe. 18 He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing. 19 Love the sojourner, therefore, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt. (Deuteronomy 10:17-19)

We aren’t left to our own devices to love.

He is God of gods, Lord of lords, great, mighty, and awesome. Let’s see what He can do, in Germany and beyond.

Find a free “Love the Sojourner” phone wallpaper here.