A Gift to Share – Part 4

Our final post in this series features some of the insights received through the Second Language Acquisition course at the Center for Intercultural Training. Our whole family went through this course for two weeks following our four weeks of equipping for intercultural life and ministry (see previous posts). Consider these reflections as you “go” with us in your prayers and into the ministry that God has for your family.

  • We need to acquire both the language and the culture (LanguaCulture).
  • Attitude and motivation are the key factors in LanguaCulture acquisition.
  • Don’t get stuck in the shortcuts.
  • Language acquisition requires making a million mistakes – so we need to get started!
  • LanguaCulture acquisition is the beginning of our ministry as missionaries.
  • English has 44 sounds, and there are over 800 in the International Phonetics Alphabet.
  • Adults who are childlike learn language the best.
  • Listening before speaking increases depth of understanding in LanguaCulture acquisition.
  • Be intentional about getting to the worldview (just living there doesn’t mean you know the worldview). Worldview is deeper than behaviors/values/beliefs.
  • Sin is more than we make it. The gospel is more than we make it.
  • Do not over-contextualize or under-contextualize. Consider how Paul spoke to Antioch and Athens.
  • Learning about their culture is actually much easier than unlearning our culture, where we rely heavily on words in communication.
  • Verbal and written forms of communication are basic but often the least believable. Other more believable forms include smell, touch, and other non-verbals.
  • It takes time to reach the hearts (not just behaviors) of the people in other cultures.
  • God has a right to hear the musical expressions He has given as gifts to indigenous communities.
  • Communication is so much more than verbal and written–we must not rob God’s word of its richness/fullness.
  • Simply translating North American curriculum and resources can be disastrous because of variations in logic patterns from one culture to the next.
  • The key to contextualization is knowing the Father’s heart and not our own rightness. Faithfulness is a better standard than results…follow the Wind (the Holy Spirit).
  • The average missionary plateaus at 2+ in language learning, but levels 4-5 are necessary to reach into the the worldview of others. Missionaries are addressing behavior and values at levels 1-2.
  • Often missionaries do not go beyond 2+ because of not letting go of their identity rooted in their home culture, but there is reward in losing our identity for the sake of the gospel (1 Cor 9:19-23).
  • In order to advance beyond 2+…are we willing to make the sacrifice of never being the same for the sake of the people to the glory of God?