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Logo of GYC 2019: By Many Or By Few

When Translation isn't Enough: How to Communicate Present Truth Cross-Culturally

Greg Whitsett Amy Whitsett


Whether by many or by few, it is only God and His method that will result in end-time mission success. God has modeled what true missionary work looks like—He came and dwelled among us and used imperfect human speech so that human beings with dulled senses could comprehend His love and understand His plan to restore us to perfection. God’s communication model is sinner-centered. We will demonstrate how this type of communication can be applied in cross-cultural settings with anecdotes and stories from our time living in South-east Asia.


  • January 2, 2020
    2:30 PM


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This message was presented at the. Many or by few in Louisville Kentucky for other resources like visitors on. The web. Well good afternoon I think we'll go ahead and start even though we've got another minute but we always planned too much content so we'll start a minute early and maybe we'll squeeze an extra minute of stuff in so my name is Amy Amy with sit my husband Greg our oldest son Tyler in the front here and our youngest son is floating around somewhere. Anyway I want to welcome you this afternoon we're going to be speaking about our some things that we learned from our experience living overseas for 16 years and I'm a wanderer when I talk I'm hoping I'm not going to triple records. But why don't we have a prayer to begin and then I introduce our family in our experience a little bit more and then we'll get started wondering about our heads Father in heaven what a blessing and a privilege it is to be here at the y.c. this year thank you so much for the camaraderie of of like minded people who love you and are passionate about living their lives for you and fathers we spend the next hour talking about how we can best share your gospel and your love with people across cultures I pray that you would open our minds to new ideas and new thoughts pray that your Holy Spirit would be present to help translate what we're going to say to the hearts of those who are listening so that we can do we can share your love with others who need to hear it so desperately thank you so much for your love thank you so much for your patience and for your goodness to us I pray in Jesus' name amen. So as I said my husband Greg and I and our son Tyler and Ryan we were missionaries are the a.f.m. how many of you have heard of if and I think probably most everybody has how many of you get their magazine great magazine is inspirational isn't it I even as a missionary enjoy sitting down and listening reading all of the real mission stories when you're a missionary you don't necessarily feel like a missionary but he also is a missionary So it's nice to hear their stories but when we went out this is what our family looked like a little bit different than they do now we were carrying our sons and now they can probably carry us because they're both taller than we are our youngest son is now grown taller than me and is quite proud to tell me that he likes to remind me but says oh you know this is a bow my shoulder height and their mom who are you so when we went into missions when I was very very young when I was 65 or 6 years old I felt a call to missions I just knew that God wanted me to be a missionary but I didn't know where I didn't know where I didn't know when didn't know how in fact I thought that I was called to the Amazon in Africa and when I got to 1st grade and I opened up my social studies book and there was a map and I could not find the Amazon in Africa my world fell apart because I was called to the Amazon in Africa and now I had 2 continents I had to choose from and I didn't know where I was supposed to go Well long story short God put us in Asia. We were sent to the country of Laos we had never heard of it before we 1st when we 1st heard of it we thought it was an island in the Pacific and were scuba divers who were like yes definitely call them but as a lot of people like to say God has a sense of humor and he sent us to Laos which is the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia. Ok the only major body of water is the Mekong River and trust me you don't want to scuba dive in the Mekong River it's pretty yucky you never know what you're going to encounter so anyway guys sent us to Asia we were in Laos for 10 years without a minister intermissions and then we were called by the g.c. to work with Buddhist ministries and we moved to Thailand we were there for 6 years and we just moved back a year and a half ago so now based in the states and still using our experience we're working for the the Office of Administration global mission directing the Center for East Asian religions and so what we're sharing with you today is a lot of what we share with global mission pioneers and workers on the front lines working in Buddhist area. So we have a Bible verse Let's read it together at least the part that's on the screen go there for and make disciples of all the nations Ok what's special about this verse it's it's the great commission Exactly and so we know immediately that our task is you know the King James often says to teach all nations but actually the word is disciple to make disciples in the Greek and so the New King James has a little bit better translation of this we know that we are to proclaim the good news right to all the world in Matthew 2414 but we also know that the purpose of that preaching is to result in Disciple making because just because we preach in a country doesn't mean that anybody listened you know it could have been in a. So that's not enough we need to speak to people but not only speaking to people we need to speak their language and not only speak their language but speak their language in words they understand when you talk to a child about Jesus would it be different then if you're teaching about a class to college students right so you don't it's not only a language issue but it's an understanding issue and that's what we're here to talk to you about today now here's another verse maybe you can read this one together and then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven having the everlasting Gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth to every nation try tongue and people you know we live in the last days right and we know that not only in the sense of what's going on in the signs around us but also we know from the 1260 year prophecy right that the End Times started when 798 so we know we live in a special time of Earth's history and this verse is taken from where other than Revelation 14 versus what's the context the 3 message messages right there's 3 of them so we would be plural probably so 3 messages which means that our church has to go to every nation try tongue in people write the has to happen in our lifetime to finish the work there's no options if you haven't you heard of Joshua project dot net Ok excellent website I know Jesus for Asia deals with this some of you have been involved in missions if you haven't heard of it you should write it down Joshua project dot net you've heard of Joshua in the Bible I'm sure so basically what they do is they list every people group in the world and there's over 17000 people groups. And there are still over 7000 that have never had a witness to the gospel I'm not talking about. Adventist or evangelical Protestant are some of them even Catholic of They've never had a Catholic come most of them actually so they've never heard do you think Jesus is going to come back before they've heard no and I can go more into detail but in an hour is too much information so I won't go into more detail about that but reactor remember it was Jesus it was God who multiplied the languages as a blessing on the human race after the flood lot of people say it was a curse but it wasn't it was a blessing because we were going to self-destruct morally if God didn't confuse our languages so he did that and he wants to have us reach out Genesis 11 is a tower be able Genesis 12 is what and he is Abraham is called to do what through his seed there will be a blessing to all the families of earth so the mission comes immediately as soon as the languages are divided and we see it actually climaxing in Revelation 14 and on through Chapter 17 and 18 as well so this is very important that we as a movement as a people must be clear that we are interested in all the people groups and so as Amy mentioned we spent 16 years in Asia we still work in Asia we travel there about once a month and yes that's jet lag a lot we get used to it after you travel a lot you can learn how to deal with it and it's not so hard but we arrived in the country where we were serving 1st in Southeast Asia a Buddhist country and I needed a visa to work in this country it was in a place that was friendly to evangelists or to missionaries and so I found a job teaching at a college teaching English. And as I was teaching we later started a school but at that time I was learning how to live and what to do and learning how to teach English I was learning English more than a local language because I never taught advanced Greek Greek that's a different language advanced grammar and advanced writing so I had to learn English so one of my students looked like this he was a Buddhist monk and it was coming up to Christmas time and he would come over to our house we didn't vote him over I think Tyler you remember him coming over to our house and so he said one time we came he was cooking and we often had spaghetti Friday nights and we would have a nice he loved Sabbath meal Friday evening with us actually no it's not true it would have been because monks don't eat in the evening so it must have been earlier most of in lunch so anyway he I was sitting down talking to him and he said Greg tell me about Christmas I know that's a Christian holiday but I don't understand what it means oh have you ever had a Buddhist monk ask you about Christmas we're going to tell him that it's not the 25th you know also wrong day he's never heard why would I go into that when I talk to him about all it's not Santa Claus it's not Christmas trees no I didn't worry about either I just told him the story of Jesus except I thought well I can't start with that because it makes no sense so I quickly I was not prepared you know I'm like I'm new in the country I'm just like well so I started with I had to start with creation and then I had to go to the temptation in the fall and the promise and then eyes zipped all the way up to the story of the birth I thought well I can't leave him there you know so I talked a little bit about what Jesus did when he was on earth and then how he died and rose again and then he went to heaven he's going to come back but you know what happened about the time I got to the story about the temptation. What this student of mine started to do he started to giggle and to blush and in that culture that meant he was embarrassed and he was uncomfortable and he didn't get anything I was giving a real appeal of the gospel I had some broken law language that I was using and I was trying to communicate with him but it didn't work and I realized there's something more I need to learn but what is it what's missing and I'm going over time learning I'm enjoying the story but we need to move along here so I want to get to what to do not just our stories. So I'm going to back up and I'm going to let's just review a few things that are in the Christian worldview Ok and then we're going to compare that to what a Buddhist worldview looks like now can anyone tell me what a world view is yes man excellent that's one of the good definitions is like the glasses of the lens that you look through to see the world around you and how you interpret it but also includes your logic how you how you come to believing that something is real or false or what have you Ok so let's look at some of the worldview issues that we having Christianity 1st one is we can look we know that there was war in heaven right and that there was a war between Christ and Satan and that Satan lost was cast out here to Earth and there's a lot more to that but that's part of our world view also in John 316 the idea that Jesus died for our sons that Jesus is actually co-eternal with the father and that it was God himself you know that was actually dying for my sins and that's part of our world view and if I just accept that and believe that then he will come in and he gives me that gift of salvation and begins to transform me to be like him right and that's a process of a lifetime but that's that's what I need to cooperate with him in. But also he is in heaven he's preparing a place he was going to come back and we will live forever together so this is an excellent world view on the Christian side oh and also the picture of heaven right the throne room that we know we have this tree of life we have the the water actually flowing from the throne of God The river of life and there's fruits on there can you imagine every month you have a different fresh fruit and this is actually what sustains our eternal life is eating from this tree only those who are pure and righteous can eat from the tree of life aren't you looking forward to that Ok Now let's look at the Buddhist worldview let you click Thank you. So in the Buddhist worldview there are 31 different planes of existence. And they're split into 3 sections the central world the world of form and the formless world and we're not going to talk about what all the details are because we'd be here all day but at the lowest level there are hot hells and cold hells So if you like cold better than hot Well the you can have the one that's not as comfortable. But this is their real view and there are depending on which school of Buddhism there's different numbers of hells and that you are punished for their things but you're born into this hell you live into this in this hell until this the bad karma is expunged and then you die in hell and then you're reborn into a different life form there are 4 life forms on Earth there are animals pray time they these are hungry ghosts I won't talk about why they're called that but that's what they're called the Ashura which are the fallen gods and then you have the humans and the humans are the highest form of life on Earth now again this is the Buddhist worldview Ok. Then you have 6 heavens inside this world called the sensual world the 6 heavens include the the top the 6th Heaven is the is the Evil One His name is Mara in it's problem on Ok so this is the ruler over this world and these are the worlds of temptation he is the tempter Ok Now the next one was briefly go through and that's the world of form you have to get to 5 different levels of meditation level 123 and 4 to get into these heavens and then and also the Brahmas these are the call also sometimes called the Brahma heavens these the chief Brahma is considered in the Hindu pantheon as the Creator God but Buddha came along because Buddhism comes out of Hinduism and he actually taught this God that no there is no Creator that is a self deception of the Creator God the Brahma that he is Creator so Buddhism basically says believes an 8th is an atheistic religion and that's why a lot of people in the West say that Buddhism is actually a philosophy not a religion but they're using a Christian definition of what a religion is it's very religious if you go to Buddhist temples there's lots of worshipping happening but they're not worshipping like we would think of worship but it is definitely a religion and they're the very top. You have the foremost which is another 4 levels of meditation which we won't talk about that none of these places are Nevada because Nirvana is not a place it's a condition of neither life nor death but it's it's a it's where there is no longer any suffering I should say I just went to making it sound like a place it's a condition where there is no more suffering everything is permanent nothing is temporary but Buddha never described exactly what that meant so people are left not knowing. Here's the problem if I'm preaching the 3 messages and I'm preaching that Jesus is coming soon and that we're going to go to heaven and there's the tree of life there ever having this bait great big banquet feast and we're going to have a union with other people we're going to eat food and all of this and the only heavens that you can eat in are these blue ones in the lowest world then what am I telling the Buddha the Buddhist who is the ruler over these 67. Mara who is the evil one or the tempter and if you open your Bible you will find his name in some places where it's written devil in your Bible so you're preaching and they're reading and they're listening and they're saying they're going to the heaven that the tempter rules over but you're going to destroy that tempter How does that work so he's going to go to hell and you're going to they're scratching their heads not understanding what work so the problem is is that if I don't understand that and I just translate a sermon about the 2nd Coming and going to heaven because guess what in the West we have allowed the Christian culture to frame our words to primarily emphasize haven't we sing about heaven we talk about going to heaven but guess what heaven is a cul de sac in the sense that it's we go there we come back right it's just 1000 years we're auditing God's judgment books to seed it was he had just God and it's not until he recreates this earth that our tears are wiped away that we live forever on this earth yes we enjoy heaven but it's a it's just a period of time and when we emphasize the new earth we've been to say Ah the new heavens a new earth replaces all of this exactly I don't need to get into 31 different levels by say it replaces all this. Also that's like your nerve Ana exactly wow that sounds better than the Buddhist Nirvana because I actually will reunite with my loved ones who passed away because they have no hope of that so we have good news our message is valid for them but we have to make sure we understand them so that we can do it right Ok here's a good Bible verse for you to think about so likewise you unless you utter by the tongue words easy to what to understand how will it be known what is spoken for you will be speaking into the air I don't want to speak into the air now you many of you will never go and do mission work among Buddhist people so we're not here to convince you that you should go to Asia and reach the Buddhists although if you're interested in that we can sure help you and be excited to talk to you we do have calls and we would love to talk to you or help you find a way to go on your own. That's our hobby is to connect people to missions so since we've done it for 16 years we're happy to help you but this isn't what we want to share with you from now on is not our experience but what you can do when you try to reach people whether they are secular atheist whether they're Muslim whether they're Hindu whatever that you will help you to work cross culturally the present the 3 of those messages to them so then the obvious question is how do we avoid speaking into the air right went to a do well this simple answer is that we're going to follow God's example right we can clap say thank you and I'll go home right but we actually need to put wheels on this what does it look like to actually follow God's example well we're wanting to talk about how God communicates to the last and actually you're going to share this part I'm back. So when God communicated with fallen men in humanity. He didn't wait for Adam and Eve to find him he went and found them right were a little bit behind in our schedule here so I'm going to buzz through these but I think you're very familiar with the story in Genesis 3 God went looking for adman a while they were still ashamed and now fraid God was already trying to show their mercy and to find them and to help them also in Philippians too we see the story of how God took this the Son of God right took the form of Jesus as a baby not just a human being but as a baby and lived here among us as a Jewish person in the 1st century so there's 2 important things the 1st one is that God took the initiative to find the sinners and to the god well among sinners and became one of them that's a scary thought and if any of you are parents you feel even more scared because you understand the risks of parenting. To take that step Ellen White says in selected messages book 11 where she talks about how revelation and inspiration works she says the Lord speaks to human beings in what kind of speech the perfect God speaking imperfectly why would he do that he's perfect he doesn't need to use imperfect language in order that the new generate senses the goal earthly perception of earthly beings may comprehend understand his words this is shown God's condescension and we would probably more likely say today his humility. He meets fallen human beings where they are if you want to be a missionary and you want to communicate the present truth cross culturally You must go to where the people are and sometimes we're unsure how to do that is kind of scary because we're used to wanting to be. Focused on coming closer to God not closer to sinners so that can be you can be difficult so how does this work well let's just draw a little diagram here so let's say this is one of the the Apostles maybe as John out there on the Isle of Patmos right he lived in a Judeo Roman culture with Greek influence and when he received a vision from God of course his mind was open to a new understanding to what God had revealed to him and then the Holy Spirit worked with him to then record the message that we now call revelation while we also have John in the letters of John as well right then from there John communicated to me and to you how was John able to do that while I read his book and read his letter that he went out so I come to the reading of revelation through what culture my Western Christian culture now before I went to Asia I thought Why live in a secular culture you know for a separation of church and state this is America secular but no more lived over there the more realize how much the judeo christian values have shaped even the secular culture of America or whatever country you may be from Bermuda or Europe or Canada I don't know where you're from so but my culture is definitely shaped by Christianity but it's very different from John's culture but I am able to understand something now when I go and I want to talk to my Asian friend who is Buddhist he has his own culture right so what do I share Well the basics right John 316 For God so loved the world and that's what I did for those of you who were here at the beginning I swear I did with my mum friend I basically shared with him in a nutshell the whole story of salvation. But because they have they live within their own cultural context when I speak to them they're confused they have questions they're embarrassed it doesn't work my culture is not overlapping enough with their culture for them to make sense of the gospel especially the way a Western Christian tells it so what do I have to do I have to enter into their culture we have to have some common understanding because if you're in communication you understand that you cannot communicate unless you have some common field of experience where people understand what you're saying so then I have to interpret my message into a message that will make sense to them and then I share that and when they hear that they're like well that's good news right but the point that we want to share is that this isn't just a matter of translation it's a matter of retelling Ok so we were at the beginning of 2019 we did a seminar for the white est every January they have a retreat and at that retreat on Sabbath they have a seminar and they bring someone in to help them and something the White estate is working on right now is doing a lot of like crowd source type translation of elements writings to speed that up because we are finding that so many of these languages still don't have much of her writings and so there's a lot more work going through that but they wanted us to share with them the challenges of translation and this is a little piece of what we shared with them there this is a major challenge it takes time it's not something you can do from a distance it requires to go and live with the people in order to lead souls to Jesus there must be a white a knowledge of what human nature and a study of the human mind much careful thought interpret that to be yours and fervent prayer are required to know how to approach men and women upon the great subject of truth. This is true within your culture never mind when you're going to a culture that's never heard these things you really have to pay the price to learn and that was my problem with my friend my student the monk So how do I apply God's model of communication I think we all are very familiar with this passage from ministry of healing right Christ used the only method that gave true success which is what he told he showed sympathy he ministered and then he this resulted in what confidence they had confidence that he had their trust in other words right he built their trust and it was only after mingling and sympathizing ministering to earn their trust that he was able to say follow me and that they would actually understand what that means and that they would want to willingly follow him and so this is the model that we want to use We're going to break this down a little bit but I think showing sympathy in ministering are pretty cut and dry right we know how to sympathize with people we know how to minister to people we may need to get some new skills in order to minister in different ways but we're pretty good about that but when it comes to mingling What does mingling mean what would you say mingling is hanging out. Being friends spending time with Ok these are all good yes participating in events that's actually an it's all of these things and so that's what we're going to be spending the majority of this section on is talking about what is mingling and how do we do it effectively to win people's confidence. The 1st thing that we need to do is that we need to go to the last we did that when we went to Asia. It was a difficult transition for us we were really excited to go but then when it actually came to the day to get on the airplane if anybody had told me that there is an honorable way to stay home I probably would have because I was afraid what is it going to be like we're dedicating our lives to this when you go without a minister intermissions they say 12 to 15 years but it could be the rest of your life like inference the seas you know and so we were committed but is still a very scary thing to go to a new culture a new place where you don't know the language you don't know the people you don't know the customs I think it's getting easier now because people are traveling more it's not quite so scary but when we when it was still pretty new idea pretty new thing for me I grew up in Vermont and none of my family had really been out of the state like I had gone on a couple short term mission trips Maranatha trips but you know and those are great they opened my mind and they were they really water that seed that God had put in my heart to be a missionary but it was still difficult to go but we have to go you can't go if you don't go you have to be there physically The 2nd thing we have to do is what this young man said is that we have to participate we have to participate in their everyday living in a just to thrive in their context now this little picture is one of my favorites not long after we got to Laos they have a Mother's Day celebration that they do every year and the church was taking several vans of people out to a waterfall about an hour outside of the city and we're going to have a picnic and go out and you know what I don't want to go believe it or not I'm an introvert I don't really like being with big crowds of people especially big crowds of people that I don't know although I know you all so it's Ok right. I really didn't want to go but we knew that we needed to participate and so we went and thankfully we had Tyler and Ryan this is Ryan our youngest and Ryan is a people person even when he was that age nobody was a stranger and so he sat down in the middle of this group of guys playing instruments and sat there clapping and let me tell you they loved him and he got the nickname Cupid I don't know if any of you are really old enough to know Cupid cupid the ghost used to be a comic even before I was born anyway they named him Cupid because he was white and had no hair looked like a little Cupid anyway Casper That's right Casper Casper the go sorry not Cupid not Cupid No no no pastor but as we are participating it's also really important that we remember that we honor God we are not going to we're not going to threaten our allegiance to God we need to be like Daniel's remember Daniel he went to Babylon taking that Babylon against his will. But he went and he decided that above everything he was going to be loyal to God and that's what we need to do we need to go we need to participate but not at the expense of our relationship with God and it's going to have to be between you and God with that looks like. This is a very touchy subject especially among missionaries because some will do some things and some people want to I won't do those things and it can become very difficult but you have to trust your relationship with God and you also have to trust their relationship with God so I'm not going to talk more about this but honor God keep God 1st in everything that you do and this will come back to this as we go through the rest of this presentation and then finally the last thing that we really need to do is we need to spend a lot of time learning and this was difficult for me also because when I went I thought I was the hero missionary you could have put a cape on me with a big I am a for a missionary on the back because I was going to save these people and I was going not only to teach them about Jesus but I was going to teach them how to live properly Ok because we have this this mindset that people who are poor don't they're poor for a reason and it's probably because they don't know enough and so we need to go in teach them and we need to help them and learn bad habits and learn new habits and these kinds of things and so I thought I was going to teach Little did I know how much I would learn and how much I would have to learn in order to be effective even just as a medical missionary never mind to be a gospel missionary So we need to go and learn we need to learn about their culture and their culture includes a number of things what do you think culture is and anybody give me a definition of culture. A way of living good can we add to that at all traditions and customs excellent a culture is a such society's best attempt to live successfully together to interpret their reality and deal with the problems that come when we criticize somebody who's culture as I was doing in my mind. Essentially what we're saying is your best is not good enough because a culture is this is society's best attempt at these things they're doing the very best that they can and so we also need to be careful not to be critical of who they are and what they do one way that we like to describe culture is using the analogy of a tree now when you go outside and you look at a tree how do you Jennifer what kind of tree you're looking at how do you know it's a maple or an oh by the leaves right sometimes by the fruit or the flowers sometimes even people are so good like my dad is really good at just looking at the shape of the tree from a distance and say oh that's a maple tree oh that's an oak tree he can tell just by the shape he doesn't have to be close enough to see the leaves so we don't know if I a tree by its leaves and we relate those in culture to the behaviors and products of a culture what are behaviors and products Well the clothing that they wear sometimes the language that they speak the food that they eat if they're speaking English the accent that they have the holidays that are important to them these are all of the products and the behaviors that they have but what holds a tree what holds the leaves onto a tree the trunk right branches in the trunk and it's the trunk that gives the tree form and strengthen stability and in a culture these are the beliefs the feelings and the values in other words if you don't have a trunk you're not going to have leaves right. If you don't have feelings beliefs and values you're not going to have behaviors Well we all have feelings beliefs and values and we all have behaviors so we work this backwards in our minds we say Ok they're doing this why are they doing that what is the value or the belief or the feeling that is driving this behavior and we do that because we want to get down to the roots of a tree right how many of you see in the root ball of a large mature tree how big is the root ball it can be is big as the crown of the tree right it's huge but you don't see it it's hidden Normally if you see it usually there's something there maybe something wrong with the tree too but usually all of these things are hidden and it's just like that in a culture the roots equate to the worldview assumptions and their logic these are things that you don't see they're not tangible and they're things that we don't think about they're hidden just like the roots of a tree but they are what give life the roots are what give life to the trunk which gives life to the gleams the worldview assumptions in the logic are what give life to the beliefs feelings and values which give life to the behaviors and the feelings behaviors and products so worldview. You know this on that one so yes if you look in your app they've they put all the handouts in a p.d.f. So everything is there but if you want to take a picture to have a big win you can so what we want to do when we're learning about the culture is that we're going backwards and looking at their behaviors looking at all of the forms and saying Ok what are the file use the beliefs and the feelings and from there then we go down to the world view now remember he said worldview is hidden. Right. I love this picture because it demonstrates world views so well this poor rhinoceros has no clue that there's this strange mountain thing in everywhere he looks he doesn't realize it's his own horn right he's blind to it he doesn't recognize it and it's the same way with world view also world view is very resilient can he change that can he changes horn not without major surgery right worldview is resilience and it's very very hard to change it's not easy to change worldview but this is what we need to do this is what we're studying in this is actually the key to being able to share the gospel properly across cultures but we want to look at a world view definition 1st Sometimes it's easier to go backwards. Worldview is not a list of stated beliefs you can't go up to somebody and say so no I want to learn about you so like what's your worldview can you just like outline it for me. Right we can't do that it's the world view acts like the operating system on a computer right in the old days we put a disk in now we put a u.s.b. drive in our download software right and it is the operating system that tells your computer what to do with that input taking that input and what do I do with it oh it's a song so I'm going to play it on your media player Oh it's a movie I'm going to play it on your media player Oh it's a new program I'm going to installed it and I'm going to give you options you want to install do you not want to install all these things right that's what worldview does rule view like somebody said it's like your glasses is taking all of the input all of the feelings all of the sites all of the tastes all the smells everything that's coming in and it's filtering it and saying Now what does this mean why did this happen what does it mean about what's happening right now what gives it relevance is it relevant is it true Ok so this worldview just like the one just like the operating system on your computer you don't think about the operating system right unless something doesn't work. But normally when I go to my computer I don't think about oh oh I need to install a sore you know is this part of it going to or no so we can't it's not a list of beliefs it's not something you can lay stop because the subconscious is also. Conches it's not consciously chosen we grow up we we absorb it we learn it rather it's an unconscious perspective of reality and logic and it's unconsciously caught we don't really even teach worldview directly you know there's no class in elementary school where you have math and spelling and worldview and then you get p.e. you know it's it's caught it's just it's understood and we just absorb it from from what our society says what our family says what our church says what our family says So question for you what would you say this picture is Spirit House any other gases. I had somebody say it's a doll house but what you don't see is that it's on a pretty busy road bike right on the edge of the road so it's probably not a playhouse or dog house. Yeah like a like a kid's house like a lemonade stand kind of thing right there selling so to the side of the road it depends on your worldview Ok if you have a tie Buddhist worldview This is about a pray to remember on our diagram it's one of these Hungry Ghosts has been causing traffic accidents in this area so a very busy intersection where this is that it's a safety device it's a yeah it's a road safety device it's like a stop sign or a stoplight right we laugh because it doesn't it like messes with our worldview when we're Western we say oh it's a silly superstition you are right it's a spirit house and we say oh oh. Be silly people for you from these silly spirits can you believe this they put this red juice out to appease the Spirit because it's red in the spirits going to think it's blood. People right but as Christians we look at it and we say you know why this actually is not silly because this is representing the reality that scenes angels are deceiving attacking and threatening these people and causing fear right so it depends on the worldview that you have whether you're Buddhist whether you're a Western tourists who's maybe atheist or whether you're Christian to demonstrate this. Ok All right we're going to rush we went visited church in Thailand and there was an old gramma sitting on the front row she was about 7375 she her Bible was all marked up whenever there was a hymn she was singing along she had all of his songs memorized she was sitting and standing and kneeling and everything all of the right time and we started asking questions Who is this lady when we found out she had been baptized only 3 years before and in a Buddhist culture you never see people converting at that age when you become that age you become more Buddhist Ok when a woman becomes a widow she often move to a temple and become a nun and it's to earn merit so that she will be born in a better state her next life around that fits into the world view that's their belief so for her at the age of 72 or 73 to become Adventists was very very odd and so we sat down with her and said Grandma what happens and she started telling us this long story how when she was 5 years old her parents were killed in an accident at the funeral something physically happened to her but she didn't know what it was and after that she was just tormented by Spears and her whole entire life she adult with these evil spirits in her life and couldn't get rid of them. Well at the age of 7273 an Adventist pastor moved in next door to her and she started hearing singing people would come in the middle of the we like Tuesday or Wednesday night and she heard music coming from the house or she's like well that's kind of interesting a picture curiosity and she eventually got to the place where she was scooting out to the gate and standing outside the gate to listen and try to peek in and see what's going on in there and somebody saw her and said Grandma come come and join us just like Al No no no no no no cannot cannot over time the pastor got to know her and the pastor heard her story and said you know what I am so sorry that you have been living with all of this affliction from his spirit spares her making her physically sick you know dealing messing with her heart so she couldn't work and you know lost a lot of money going to doctors and all kinds of stuff finally the pastor said look I know God can heal you would you allow me to pray for you and she said sure it's not uncommon for a Buddhist to say Sure you can pray for me because there are clock ticking it works it works so you know you'll see them wearing a cross because that's a sign of Christian power. So she said yes you can pray so the pastor prayed and the spirit left her. And she was healed and she came to church she was so happy to have met Jesus Jesus had transformed her life she was a different person than she had been and she told everybody her family her neighbors her friends the villagers everybody you got to hear about this Jesus you changed my life and they say Grandma would you stop We've heard enough about this Jesus keep him to yourself but she couldn't So here she was sitting on the pew and he said Ground law. Explain to us what does Jesus mean to you and she said Oh Jesus is everything to me he changed my life she said and I have decided he is so good to me that I am going to be Christian in my next life too. And the missionary who is there who had studied with her her job was hit the floor. She was doing everything right she had all the behaviors right right she was studying the Bible she was worshipping on Sabbath she was even adopting a vegetarian diet as an Adventist we do these things because we're we understand we're submitting to God's will we value and honor God as our creator in our Savior and we recognize that we're steward of God's gifts and so we're careful with our bodies right and we do this because of our world view that a saint is in rebellion to God and that we have to choose sides right and if I submit to God I'm choosing his side and I will receive salvation well in a Buddhist worldview they may do all of the same things they recite the sutras they worship on the full moon days some of them even eat vegetarian especially on certain days of the year but they do it because they want to earn marriage to any value becoming a good person and they value not killing living beings because all life has equal value why do they do that to earn merit because if I earn merit in this life the more merit I earn the better opportunities I have in my next life so what was grandma doing she was studying the Bible worshipping on Sabbath eating vegetarian but why was she doing it. Well it may have been to submit to God's will but it might also have meant to earn merit her motives might have been a little bit different. She might might believe that she is a sort of God's gifts but she might also just believe that you shouldn't be killing living beings because life has equal value. And it's most likely that gramma never had a world view shifts from mess earning merit to this you see was happening as missionaries it's easy to change behaviors that's not easy but it's easier. It takes time to change worldview confusion during a crisis leads to leads a new convert to return to old behaviors and forms so a good way to understand to see how well the disciples have changed their their world view is when they're in crisis what do they resort to what do they go back to when the old ways work is needed a new converts beliefs and values revert back as well so how do we influence world view change we've learned that worldview change is the lens that we see things through it's like the the Operating System of a computer you don't really see it it's the horn on the right answer is that it's resilient it's hard to change so what can we do because worldview can change so Grace going to share with us how we can actually work to change the world view so that we don't deal with. Confused disciples so what we've wanted to do in this seminar up till now is basically help you understand the problem because if we don't understand the problem we don't have any questions we don't need answers right but we find that this scenario happens more often than not oftentimes if you've ever had anybody gone overseas to do mission work Ok anybody have gone outside of the Western Hemisphere to do mission work Ok maybe to Africa are some part of Asia somewhere Ok Europe maybe I don't know. A lot of times what. North America division Adventists say when they go to the east if they are surprised if they go there very often they say wow there's major problems in the church over here they don't get the health message they don't understand the prophecies they don't have any understanding of. Honesty you know there's some not some of you may not experience that but there are sometimes problems with corruption in the church and it's a confusing why we've seen this in a while they really need missionaries and so we go and we teach and we but if we don't understand a few things about the world view and how to change it what happens is that when we leave they figure out how best to do what they what we taught them and they may focus on the shell but not on the heart so you see the website appear c.a.r. dot global mission centers dot org And you see the pamphlets that we've handed you out there's 2 of them this one here there are 6 global mission centers and all of the centers are focused on teaching you how to deal with worldview issues whether they're Muslims whether they're Hindus or if they are atheists you can see the names on the front of the thing and there's contact information for the websites and I'll tell you a secret Ok it's a secret because you won't find it when you go to the website but if you register on the website where it says register as a very intuitive just register and when you get in there. You know you get the acceptance that you are now registered all of a sudden a whole world of resources are popping up all over the website as I while what do they come from well the issue is that we don't want people in the 1040 window who are in Mom's and monks and government officials to see everything that we are providing you so you can find evangelistic seminars you can find Bible studies you can find training seminars this little one hour seminar we're doing is actually 14 hours no excuse me 7 hours. On our website it was filmed with hope channel in the Philippines so you can get a lot and there's all kinds of study guides and power points you can actually use this in teach it yourself wherever you are so there's a lot of that here and so in the last 10 minutes we're not going to teach you how to do it all but we're wanting you to see the need and to go to this website maybe at a future g.i.c. we could do it all day seminar and get you a lot more detail but this here is actually focused on how you work to help Buddhists change their worldview and we're creating a smartphone app on coaching making disciples that will come out next month and i Phone It's on the back here also in a couple months later but before the g.c. session we'll have the Android done so that's just a little plug if you like to talk to us more or have questions come up to the agonist mission booth upstairs with that big blowup world is that's where we'll be during the exit exhibition time so in 5 minutes I'm going to give you a little bit of information of how world views are changed are you ready All right this information is on your app to if you have that under our names you can find it people's world views change when new experiences conflict with the world you have something new happen to them God gives them a dream. An answer to prayer or something happens like oh wait a minute this is a new god what's happening I didn't know how do I place this into my worldview so there's some internal dissonance or are conflict too there are new explanations that are better than the old understanding the old explanations like they've had a problem or some kind of issue and you explain something that answers their question it could be about spirits they can be about stay the dead it could be any number of things but your explanations make more sense or your testimony when you share your testimony your experience it makes sense to them and 3rd as the community changes guess what individuals change we see that happening in America or values are changing world views are shifting and unless you're actively If spending time with the word your worldview is shifting to how many of you low how to drive a car I mean yeah Ok so you know if you go back on 100 years it would be like that culture changes and we as Christians change with it and it's not all bad but sometimes it is obviously we encourage the worldview to change which is our job as a missionary when one we pray for an impactful experience week ask God to confront their world view because we can't convert hearts only the Holy Spirit can so you have to be praying for God to do this and guess what he does it so often for them much more than for me in terms of see miracles because God has to show them he's real Why read a book when you don't know the God who wrote it or who inspired it right so they have to see that God is real also you have to share your experience about how God is changing you so when I'm with them I'm always telling them how God is changing me if you go as the answer person with all the answers you know Amy told you about her experience of wanting to teach them how to live. We often go as missionaries thinking that we are there to show them how it's done and that we don't want to show any flaw or weakness or sin in our life so that we can be a perfect model but the reality is we need to model perfectly how sinners are changed so if you don't share how God is changing you now not 20 years ago or 5 years ago when you were converted but how he's dealing with my impatience how he's dealing with my anger how he's dealing with my lack of faith and share that experience as fresh from this week then they won't get that sense that oh you're on a journey and I could join you so they need to hear your story and I'm not going to show this it's just how to share your testimony but I think you may have learned how to share testimony before. Seconds when it comes to the explanations we can help when we teach them through storytelling storytelling means you don't just give a topical sermon or Bible study you use the stories of the Bible they need to hear the bible story because they don't know who David is they don't know who Jesus or Adam or Joshua are Daniel or Matthew John who are these people stories create the metanarrative of a worldview and if you don't tell stories they're not going to change worldviews How do you view of ever listen to the Bible and living sound and you that's the Adventist group on the West Coast it's like your story hour but it's the west coast version that's a certain way to say it so I grew up on story our my wife grew up on Bible living sound Well guess what they actually translated these into Thai and we share them with our foster daughter she listened to the whole Bible several times listening to all that her Bible knowledge was so good but it helped to form her worldview listening to Bible stories that was powerful because this dramatize that sounds like a story and it's much easier to follow. So when you think about going overseas and wanting to do evangelism focus on stories that's way more powerful than topical sermons. So I will give you an example when I travel in my humble little suitcase I'm sure you have one a lot of times where I travel to I have to be dressed like this you know with a coat with a shirt dress shirt and in Asia tropical so usually no coat but I have to wear dress shirts when I'm preaching or what have you and what happens when you travel and you need to get dressed up when you arrive and you pull your shirt out of the suitcase and it's wonderfully pressed and it's folded position right so you're like What do I do and I was like This is a real problem so I realized that that's kind of like faith we our faith when we when we live it we don't know how to explain it it's just there right our experience with God and all of our beliefs and all of this and it can be hard to really organize it so what we've realized is that we need something well when I travel I use hangers so I have these little colorful things that fold up I put them in my suitcase and there are folding hangers because what a lot of places where I stay there's there's no hangers you know so I have to bring my own and that's like doctrines they're like help you to define the different categories of your beliefs your faith but then I ran into another problem when I travel I'll stay in a room and there's no closet there's no bar so I'm Ok here's a little thing I can hang some my clothes are hanging all around the room if you ever done that when you've traveled that Ok so you know and that bar though is the story line of the great controversy at home it's so easy right to keep your clothes clean and you know orderly and you can easily go in and find maybe even if it's kind of dark you can you know where things are. But if we don't do that maybe this could be a laundry basket you know where you're just all mangled up so it's really important when you're sharing the gospel to realize that you need a story line and the wonderful thing is that we have this thing called the great controversy that has it all laid out for us we don't have to invent this but a lot of times when we do evangelistic preaching or Bible teaching we always like to focus on the doctrines like a checklist that we cover this to be cover that it's a great way to summarize the good news but it's a horrible way to present it for the 1st time so if you don't hear anything else that we have said today keep that in mind focus on stories when you work cross culturally especially if it's not a Christian culture the last thing that we will share number 3 is that you have if you want to form a worldview you have to invite these seekers into your own faith community to experience daily life and this is a big challenge how many of you have one someone to Christ they never connected with the church but they connected to you and then when you left or maybe you didn't leave but they just kind of drifted away I've had that experience if you cannot connect them to a community of faith in their worldview is not going to shift a lot of times we think that salvation is individual Well that's true but worldviews and cultures are always communal You don't have a private culture that's just mine and nobody else's even if you grew up and your family is not all Christian or all advantages you still have a culture in that family it's kind of a diverse culture. But people have to have community this is why the church exists this is why the family of God exists because that's what helps create culture so one of the 3 things you have to do to create for culture for jesting worldview but one they have to have experience and hear your experience. 2 they need to hear the story the story line of the great controversy and 3 they need to be inside a community so if you're going to go overseas on a short term mission project which these are wonderful make sure that there's a community of faith that you're bringing them into and that that community of faith is converted or plan to go somewhere else because otherwise you may bring the men but you have no guarantee that they're going to be ministered and helped and you know what when the chick cracks out of the egg is I while paradigm shift. You know so often we are excited about bringing them to baptism but a lot of times all they're dead green on is that you are an expert you're right I agree that you're right and I'm going to get baptized but they don't have it in here so we need to make sure that we're not just convincing them that we're right but that they're experiencing a complete shift for themselves and so I already gave you the the how you can begin. In terms of how to get information but I want to challenge each one of you that you can begin right now if you haven't started in missions because the 1st thing that you can do is pray for the unreached people groups you can go to Joshua project out net or if you'd like to pray for Buddhists we have prayer cards for all the unreached people groups and on the back side is a 30 day prayer log for you to pray for them you can download these use them with your own church with your own group they're there for you to use but also we have to pray for labors that's what we've read in Luke Chapter 10 2nd is you can give you know satisfy offerings are designed for giving to missions and you know that that's right and so that's an important thing actually one of my favorite offerings is. What I do one of my favorite offerings is this church offering called annual sacrifice Did you know the 2nd Sabbath of November is annual sacrifice and that offering was designed in the General Conference for the g.c. workers to give up their salary that week to give to missions you don't know that story did you so there are 3 mission offerings every year in the calendar in your conference and sometimes the church may not participate but this is really cool some people we get letters at the g.c. someone decided they're not going to. Have any desserts that we can give the money to offering or they're not going to go out to eat or whatever so it's the idea is that this week you sacrifice and at church on that Sabbath is that you give that to God instead for mission and so that often goes directly to mission but you also know that there's many ways to donate many of the good mission organizations that are upstairs and just choose one that you're excited about and every year a.s.i. has its own special projects that fund raisers for so find ways to get involved through giving the last thing though is obviously going student missionaries are needed. And we'd like to connect you to short term mission opportunity what I've learned is that it's great to apply through the organizations but it's even better to apply to the host over in Asia or in Africa where you're going and we mean I like to matchmake to help people find that right place we don't get paid to do that is just our hobby so if you would like advice come by our booth We'd love to help you we went to support the missionaries we now work for the g.c. everybody needs I mean there's not enough missionaries so as long as you're going to have a good experience we want to help you try to get to the place that would match your skills and I we know a lot of the workers and the people over in Asia especially outside our field who are wanting missionaries desperately short term even agile has calls if you're not feeling like you're a medical missionary or a or a church planting missionary maybe you just want to do development work but also reach the people in that context also of course there's career missions. And we'd love to help connect you if you're trying to find ways to do it the good news let me tell you something it's good news the g.c. is moving back to sending missionaries to the front lines when I played at the g.c. back there was no cos so I went with a.f.m. and that was good I'm glad I did We're glad we did. But now they're opening those up and we're right now coaching 5 new missionaries going to Japan. And we're going to be planting 30 new churches just in Tokyo as a church planning movement that's going to spread across Japan $9000000.00 is being invested over the 5 next 5 years for church planting in Tokyo we need actually supporting missionaries as well and if you're interested in Japan I'd love to talk to you not only for praying but also seeing how you could get involved but that's just one city there's many places we have a new project going to Tibet to Lhasa we're going to do church planning in Lhasa we want to go to Bhutan are planning to I'm going to do exploratory trip either next year or not actually it's 2020 the end of this year or maybe the next spring of 2021 my desire and our desire to Agnes mission is not just to be in our little silo trying to do church planting but we have to get the work done and we have to work together supporting ministries or the General Conference to May God help us and bless us if you would like blow tracks designed for the world religions we have a matter booth we have and we are welcome to take them may God bless you and let's stand for prayer Father in heaven we are so thankful that you love us that you care for us and that you've asked us to join you in your mission because it's not our mission it's yours you're the Savior we are sinners just learning how to share the good news with others who need you I pray that for each person who is hearing this presentation would be blessed and that they would also know your calling and what the next steps are that you're calling them to take but more than anything else Lord I pray that we not just work hard but that we work smart and that we understand the people and that we would truly mingle with them and not to teach but to learn so that when it comes to teaching we will have understood how best to communicate the present truth for these last days. So we ask for your blessing on each person and on your great mission when we pray in Jesus' name amen. This message was recorded at the g y c conference by many or by few in Louisville Kentucky do I see the supporting Ministry of the 7th Day Adventist Church seeks to challenge and inspire young people to take a sacrificial initiative for Christ to download other resources like this visit us online at July so you web dot org.


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