Monday, September 21, 2015

Third Culture Missionaries

As we are beginning to start a new church plant,  like  an expecting mother, one looks back and remembers other  births.  With the memory comes emotions such as
joy, excitement,
nervousness, fear, overwhelmed, disappointed,
delighted, hopeful,
            exhausted, humiliated,
                                                          and compassionate
just to name a few.
Before the birth not unlike any woman who is pregnant, one is dreaming about what this church can be-- you can almost picture the church 10 years from now: healthy, self- sustaining, growing,
                                           vibrant, multi-cultural,
                                  full of sinners washed clean my God’s grace and Jesus’s blood,
relevant to the community it is in,
and genuine.
This is the church I want to go to and this is the church we believe God is asking us to plant.

One of the first task in planting a church is to think who is our target? In Uganda,our target was upwardly mobile, young professionals and families. In Rwanda, our target was English-speaking diaspora, influencing leaders. Here in Chicagoland, we believe that God is calling us to leverage our relationships that He has given us with our East African Diaspora to reach other Third-culture folks.
What do we mean by Third -Culture folks? Another term would be cultural hybrids or global nomads. This is where you are living somewhere that is not your place of origin--your parents’ culture but you are not fully a part of this new culture-- you have blended the two and have formed a new third culture! This is the group we feel that we can reach and that can reach others.

We want to come alongside our East African friends and encourage them to reach out as missionaries to other third- culture folks as well as other plain Joes searching for God’s grace and fullness in their lives.

This weekend, we had lunch with a friend of ours from East Africa working here in Chicagoland. Dave asked her,” what do you have to offer America as a missionary?’” This was in response to her wanting to help us with this new church plant. She responded, “ The years I have been here, it is evident that God is put on a stool in the corner as people go about making decisions for their own lives….we from Rwanda did not have this luxury we needed to depend on Him for everything even our breath. This is really the reality for the whole world, but here in the U.S they are fooling themselves. I think I can share how to make God a part of your whole life. Also, I think we have learned some lessons on forgiveness and unity.”

Yes, God can use you as a missionary! The  American church needs more of your perspective and the seekers need to hear your voice. This is what Nations’ Chapel will be ---a place for our East African Diaspora friends to serve as missionaries reaching other multi-cultural folks and calling those hurting, lost, and seekers into a life-changing relationship with Jesus and his church!