Whether black, white, Asian, or Hispanic, people are people, so why not make a difference in their lives? Many speak the same language, but some argue they speak different languages. Be it English, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Hindi, or Japanese, but does it really matter which language they speak? They are definitely one in Christ even if they communicate in their native dialect. To identify with a particular group often politicians will say a few words in their language, but do they really understand them? This may happen especially during an election year when we see candidates making pitches to specific blocks of voters. It may be at synagogue by speaking a few Hebrew words, rubbing shoulders with rabbis, and trying to convince Jewish folk they know about their culture.
But regardless who these people are, it’s good for them to know who they really are. Steve Jobs (1955–2011), a pioneer of the personal computer revolution said, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” A measure of what people become is what they keep coming back to, reminding them to take that next step in pursuing their dreams. This is true, for their conscience keeps telling them to invest in a particular ministry.
Making a Connection
Some people – young and old alike, make decisions to join the Peace Corps. While others participate in a Fulbright programs to Asian, African, or South American countries. They live with the natives, teaching them to plant crops, build wells, and construct homes. They teach English as a foreign language in their schools. Missionaries are involved in outreach programs to villages, while working alongside different ethnic groups in remote areas. By so doing they are fulfilling Christ’s mission in bringing the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
Interestingly Maya Angelou (1928–2014), an author, and poet wrote, “The thing to do, it seems to me, is to prepare yourself so you can be a rainbow in somebody else’s cloud. Somebody who may not look like you. May not call God the same name you call God – if they call God at all. I may not dance your dances or speak your language. But be a blessing to somebody. That’s what I think.” Angelou explained in her own way the missionary service we’re taught to do as believing Christians.
To begin understanding people call for more than being able to master the spoken word. It comes through the Holy Spirit who works in diverse ways. People also communicate with their eyes and bodies. Missionaries can see these in natives who seek their help. With good interpersonal communication barriers are broken down. But we all have one spirit in common. It doesn’t matter if a person is a Westerner dressed in fashionable clothes, or a beggar in rags. It’s the Holy Spirit who dismantles communication barriers.
Barbara Bush (b. 1925), a former first lady of the United States said, “Cherish your human connections – your relationships with friends and family.” With God each human is a friend and a family member. It doesn’t matter if they live in a small Guyanese town like Ituni, or a faraway place like Timbuktu. In building up the body of Christ volunteers would come to know like Albert Einstein (1879–1955), a German-born theoretical physicist that “the only source of knowledge is experience.” As Christians these missionaries bring their experiences to the building blocks of life, and knowledge to make the world a better place to live, paving the way for mankind’s eternal future.