USA (MNN/WYC) — There are 196 countries in the world, and each one comes with a unique culture. Have you ever wanted to experience one of them, but couldn’t travel to that country?
Wycliffe Bible Translators says you don’t need to fly halfway around the world to become more cross-cultural. Instead, you can find different cultures right in your backyard and take a step toward sharing the Gospel.
Wycliffe USA gives five different tips to give you a jump-start.
1. Try an authentic ethnic restaurant
A lot of us are creatures of habit, especially when it comes to food. We might always order from the same pizza place or order the same meal from the same restaurant every Saturday night. But what if we stepped out of our comfort zone and tried something else, like an authentic ethnic restaurant? Take a chance and see what the food is like; also speak with the owners or workers about their cuisine and culture. Ask them about their home country, culture, and language. Then, share your story and tell them about the way you live and what you believe. You could be the first person to tell them about the Good News!
2. Get to know your neighbors
We’re often surrounded by people in our neighborhoods from different backgrounds and cultures, so why not get to know them personally? Why not hear their story? You can invite their family over for dinner and ask about their lives and cultures. You can build relationships and let them know what your culture is like and how God has impacted your life.
3. Learn how to cook with new ingredients
At grocery stores, we probably skip ethnic-specific aisles. Why not try a new recipe using ingredients from another culture? Go to your grocery store or visit an international market (like an Asian or Indian market) and learn how to cook an ethnic dish.
4. Visit another culture’s church
Again, it can be scary to go outside of your comfort zone, especially if you’re visiting a church that is influenced by a different culture. But by going to another culture’s church, you’ll be able to see how God touches others and speaks in all languages. You’ll be able to see how people worship differently, and who knows: maybe you’ll pick up something that can enhance your own worship.
5. Support cross-cultural products and arts
Start visiting craft fairs or shops where another culture’s work is on display. You can talk with shop owners or artists and be inspired to learn even more about their cultures. And, you’ll be surprised at how quickly relationships can form. You can do your backyard missions right at one of these shops.
While you start learning about different cultures and share the story of God, don’t be afraid to pray with people and share your testimony. God will open doors, and you’ll be able to be a door so someone can hear the Good News.