W. Austin Gardner
What to accomplish in the first two years 9
Start your ministry before even leaving language school. You will have to finish language school before you start your full-time ministry, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t and shouldn’t be involved in the ministry of your “new” church with your new people.
Make them feel welcome in your home. Do not build a little America in your home. Do bring things from home. Make it your house, but you should become a bicultural person, and so your home will be a mixture of both cultures that make up your new life.
Many missionaries feel that their home is the only place that they can retreat to, and therefore they will not allow the foreign country into their home. You simply will not reach the people if that is your attitude.
Sure your home is your castle, but how would you react to a pastor that moved to your area, couldn’t quit talking about the place he came from, wouldn’t let you in his home because he thought you might steal from him or get his things dirty.
How would you feel if you thought that he felt that he was superior to you?
Imagine the lack of privacy that Jesus suffered. He lived with them. He traveled with them. He slept, ate, traveled with them. One of them laid his head on Jesus’ chest. But then He came to seek and save us, no!
Do not skip church or stay outside the building during church etc.
Get involved with the people in the service. Do not act disinterested even during language school. Try to capture a new word every service. Try to imagine where the pastor is going with the message from the passage he is using.
Look at things like they do. They aren’t strange or new--you are.
Do work on the language. It is an insult to the people if you do not think that they are important enough to constantly work on the language. Allow them to correct you. Invite them to do so and then thank them profusely when they do!