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  • Writer's pictureW. Austin Gardner

What to accomplish in the first two years 11

Do not be guilty of doing it all yourself. Many times the missionary doesn't trust the people, and for that reason, he does not prepare leadership in the local church. When he leaves, the mission church will not be able to stand.

Adapt yourself to their culture. Learn to think like them. Get up like they do. Greet folks like they do. You need to feel comfortable with the people. There will be things that you need to change in their culture due to the fact that it is wrong, but other than that, be one of them. How do you feel about all the foreigners in the US that want to keep their own language etc.?

Learn to love the country and the people

"Learning a foreign language isn't just grammar and study. It is mostly loving the people, concern for their souls, a desire to learn their language to be able to witness to them, and persistence to make yourself do it even though you don't feel like it. The way to learn the language is to love and spend most of your time with the people instead of staying locked in at home."

Do not have a bad attitude about medical care etc., in your new country. Be careful not to listen to everything you hear.

Many missionaries who are suffering definite culture shock, and don't want to admit it, will tell you that there are no good doctors, hospitals, mechanics, or hardly anything else in the country. People ask me all the time if you can have a baby "safely" in Arequipa. My answer is that about 80 are born a day. They have been doing it for a long time. Sure you can.

If you have a hazardous disease or something new, cancer, etc., then you need the states, but for little things like broken bones, the flu, measles, or the host of other diseases, you can have good competent care in Arequipa. The arrogant American attitude sometimes is that no one else can do it, but us or ours but that certainly isn't true, nor is it a way to win the folks in your country.

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