In a recent blog post by an EMM worker, she writes of her new surroundings, “The smells will never be comforting for me. In the beginning ... things felt disorienting. I wanted to leave. I wasn’t sure how or if the kids would ever adjust.”
What do we do in such instances?
Thankfully, EMM has been providing cross-cultural teaching and preparation for many years. (And, of course, we support workers in navigating culture while on the field.) What about workers going to serve in a warm climate? They’ll probably need to learn to ignore the clock and be willing to make time for unplanned visits and chats. And what about those moving to an animistic culture? Or a tribal culture?
EMM provides a variety of ways to get essential cross-cultural training. Launch, for instance, is an EMM training course that equips people for cross-cultural ministry experiences in any context. Through this course, every person preparing to be a missionary with EMM is equipped to make disciples across cultures. Launch happens in three phases: participants engage in seven modules of personal study online, meet together for a one- to two-week period of group learning, and stay connected in an online learning community for up to one year, supporting and encouraging each other as they step out in mission.
Launch and other courses provide a wealth of information to our workers — everything from contextualizing the gospel to being an incarnational witness. Sometimes that looks like the Christian/Muslim Relations Team teaching about how to relate to people of Islamic faith in a peaceful way. Sometimes it’s anthropologist Eloise Hiebert Meneses, a frequent guest speaker at Launch, equipping future workers with concepts of culture. Sometimes it means bringing teenagers face to face with people from other cultures through a summer Kingdom team program. In all these ways, EMM is daily working to fulfill the mandate to be a faithful witness to the presence of Jesus in the world.
Your investment in EMM’s Impact Fund helps this work happen! Thank you for walking alongside us as we cross cultures, sowing seeds of God’s love in the world wherever we are.
Kaylene Derksen serves as Development director at EMM.