"I grew up in a family of artists and jigsaw puzzle enthusiasts. The thread that holds the two together is the willingness to take a fresh look at the things in front of us. Crossing cultures, learning languages, and embracing the adventure requires that same willingness to take a fresh look at life around us."
We are constantly reading the news and exploring the cultures of Asia: Buddhist, Muslim, Secular, Urban, Rural, Traditional, and Contemporary. When anyone from anywhere crosses into a new culture, it is always good to have a coach (or two or three) to help interpret that new culture and to point the new person in fruitful directions. We take that research and share it with friends and colleagues.
Developing Cross-Cultural Leadership
Covid-19 has taught us that we need new skills for serving in communities and working in today's world. Leadership in cross-cultural settings, like leadership in the season of a global pandemic, requires a different framework and outlook. This kind of leadership embraces the unknown and the opportunity to learn with the team or community in the midst of change.
Each summer we host interns, mostly young adults, for two months. They will be introduced first hand to a wide variety of cultural, historical, and ethnic experiences. Asia is a huge fabric of countries and communities. The summer program, designed around creativity, seeks to immerse each intern into life in Asia and give them a picture and vision of serving in this part of the world. A number of our interns are able to earn college credit for the work that they do in the summer.
Learning from Noah's Ark
In the Ark, God used Noah to save the wide variety of animals and birds that God created. In our generation, God is prompting us to connect with the wide variety of people whom he has created and indeed called into the community of God's people. As we develop skills for cross-cultures globally, we are called to simultaneously embrace the variety of cultures and people coming out of our home culture.