In late 2017 five of us from St Matthews Anglican Church in Shenton Park, Perth, headed to East Asia for a short-term exposure trip. We each had different experiences and understandings of what mission is and what it looks like in different contexts.
Prior to our trip WEC gave us the opportunity to prepare as a team for our immersion into a culture that was brand new to most of us. We each voiced our expectations and concerns, and Denise Rhodes (WEC mobiliser) helped us to prepare thoroughly together for any stresses or shocks that we might come across. When we arrived in the city we were visiting, workers there spent a morning briefing us on what they do and the challenges and joys they experience each day.
Because of these briefings, those of us in the group who had never experienced this culture were well and truly prepared for the challenges we faced - the language barrier and cultural differences. We each took away different lessons and learned different things about God, ministry and ourselves.
Something that struck me was how quickly and boldly the workers would turn conversations with locals to Jesus and his saving work. While living ordinary Christian lives as strangers in an unfamiliar land, they season every interaction with the gospel, and bear great fruit as they do so. They truly live out Colossians 4:5-6 every day, and challenged us to do the same. We are all so grateful for our ten days in East Asia, and the lessons we learned about cross-cultural ministry.