Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Learning from Jesus in Cross-Cultural Ministry

Written by David Stetler, Bhutanese Outreach Director

Cultural and language barriers come together upon those engaged in cross-cultural ministry. Whether you have been in it for years or you are just a beginner, cross-cultural ministry can be challenging, overwhelming and sometimes even disorienting. With these challenges comes an opportunity to look to the One who provides us with all the things we need. The life and teachings of Jesus reveal to us a way to minister cross-culturally that are quite literally already transforming the world. 

First we see that Jesus came to serve. In Philippians 2 we see the humility of Christ "making himself nothing by taking on the very nature of a servant". As we engage in cross-cultural ministry our posture must mimic that of Christ, in taking on the very nature of a servant, to come as one who serves.

Second, Jesus teaches us through the life of Paul.  In 1 Thessalonians 2:8, Paul expresses his desire for relationship with those to whom he is ministering. "We loved you so much that we shared not only the gospel, but our very lives as well." Paul shows us that relationship is vital in embodying the gospel as we share life with those to whom we seek to minister. 

Lastly, we see by Christ's example in John 1 that "...the Word became human and made his home among us." Jesus became a man and entered a new culture as a humble baby who grew up in the Jewish culture. He became one of us. And just as Christ came and lived among the people in his own time and culture, we to have an opportunity to go and live among people at this time and in their culture. Jesus was not just the message of good news, He embodied the message.  As He went into the Jewish culture of that time He embodied the good news and transmitted it through servanthood and loving relationships that would eventually transform the world.

May we follow Jesus in embodying this life-transforming message and learn to serve, share life and share Jesus with people from all places through Christ-centered, loving relationships.

In other news:

  • We are excited to reward our Bhutanese and Latino LIT (Leaders in Training) students with a group field trip to this Friday! We will spend the day at Science City and Zonkers!
Prayer needs:
  • Last week we shared the important need for prayer as we move forward with Adelante Thrift. Please continue to include this community development initiative in your prayers.
Current needs:
  • Our LIT students earn “Mission Adelante Money” for exemplary behaviour and doing extra academic work, which they can spend at a reward store once each trimester.  We are in need of items to stock that store!  Ideas include sports equipment, craft supplies, room decorations, or any small items that might appeal to 8-14 year old students.  If you would like to contribute please contact Megan McDermott at or Kristen Maxwell at

Important dates:
  • Observation Days: Tuesdays, November 5 & 12 (Bhutanese)/Thursdays, November 7 & 14 (Latino) 6:30-8:30  Have you wondered what all goes on around here on a typical evening of programming?  Here's your opportunity to come and see for yourself!
  • Kansas Bhutanese Concert: Saturday, November 16th from 4pm-10pm at Wyandotte High School (2501 Minnesota Ave, Kansas City, KS 66102) Everyone is invited to come and celebrate Nepali Culture at this exciting event sponsored by Mission Adelante and coordinated by our dear friend Ram Rai. It will feature comedians, cultural dances, and ethnic food. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the RG Asian Store (101 S 18th St, Kansas CityKS 66102). Don’t miss this chance to learn about and celebrate the rich culture of the Bhutanese Refugee community!

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