Tag - culture

1
So… How’d It Go? Sound of the Nations: Battambang, Cambodia
2
“A Man of Sorrows and Acquainted with Grief”
3
What is Reverse Culture Shock and Why It’s Important to Understand It – Part 1
4
How to Cope with Reverse Culture Shock – Part 2
5
Where Are You Home? The Journey to “Become Home”
6
You’re in a Spiritual Crisis? Find Out Why That’s Fantastic News!

So… How’d It Go? Sound of the Nations: Battambang, Cambodia

Photo Credit: Kenia Godard

It was a sort of divine, grand experiment: Could we bring a distinctly African worship seminar, in both sound and staff, to Cambodia? What would happen when drums and Township Gospel met chimes and Temple Karaoke? Would it all be lost in translation? Would the catch phrase, “From the Nations to the Nations,” survive being put to the test? We had five weeks in the hot season (and let me tell you it was REALLY hot) to find out.

Average Temperature: “Frying Pan”

Tastiest Treat: “Fried Spider”

School Catch Phrase: “A ‘notha Level!”

(There’s something spectacular about Cambodian’s declaring: “It’s A ’notha Level!” complete with a South African accent.)

YWAM Muizenberg, South Africa staff, Kevin and Tonya Stanfield (USA), Billy Edwards, MJ Abrahams (South Africa), Kenia Godard (Columbia), and Fy Rasolofoniaina (Madagascar), joined forces with the incredible YWAM Battambang base to pull off the second Sound of the Nations School in Cambodia (and discover a whole new appreciation for air conditioning). Let me quote a student’s blog to tell you more:

“The purpose of this course is to dig deeper into worship, raise up local worship leaders, and encourage authentic ethnic song writing! There is a distinctive lack of contemporary ethnic Cambodian songs… God made this country’s sound exquisite and totally unique. It would be so sad to miss out on their expressions of worship!” – Caroline Clymer

Writing a song may seem easy to some, but creating unique music requires a freedom of soul and a confidence that goes beyond the skill of one’s voice: An assurance is needed, one that runs deep and quiet, whispering of the unique song that resides within each one of us… and that this song, my song, is worth hearing. It is, in fact, God’s song too.

So did the divine experiment succeed?

Read More

“A Man of Sorrows and Acquainted with Grief”

Photo Credit: Painting “Spring Again” By Gaylin Downie

The above painting shows the winds of change blowing away the darkness of winter and the old season. Colour is released from heaven to earth bleeding life back into the hills, which become covered in spring flowers. Words: “Wrong will be made right, when Aslan comes in sight. At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more. When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death. And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.” ~ From The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

{This painting is by Gaylin Downie, local artist and YWAM Muizenberg staff of Bethesda House, and we are blessed to feature it here. Her main art expression is prophetic art, which is a visual form of what God is communicating to people to encourage them and highlight aspects of who they are and what they are made for. You can view her art on Facebook here: CrimsonHeart by Gaylin.}

 

My heart breaks and bleeds as I contemplate the extent of the brokenness of humanity. Murders, shootings, gang rapes, molestation, drug abuse, theft… Is there no end to the evil of mankind?

I wish that my thoughts were merely theoretical, but they are not. On a weekly basis I am faced with the troubles in some of the communities in Cape Town, South Africa. It is even sadder that I seem to be more heartbroken than the actual people who live in these traumatic situations.

It’s not that they do not feel the pain, but that the pain has become their normal experience of existence. They are beyond pain. The pain is so deeply entrenched in their culture and identity that they don’t see it anymore.

Read More

What is Reverse Culture Shock and Why It’s Important to Understand It – Part 1

Photo Credit: Felicity Davies

I am currently writing this blog entry from the UK, where I’m visiting my home country because my husband and I are missionaries in South Africa. My husband grew up in Manchester, so we are staying in a house provided by a member of his church. I cannot tell you how grateful we are to have our own space while we are at home visiting family and friends – it makes it easier for us to rest in-between social engagements.

Reverse culture shock is when you return to your own culture but find it a bit unfamiliar because you have adapted to the culture of the nation where you are currently living and working.

Read More

How to Cope with Reverse Culture Shock – Part 2

Photo Credit: looking4poetry via Compfight cc

In my last article I began to open up about the issue of reverse culture shock (What is Reverse Culture Shock and Why It’s Important to Understand It). In this blog entry I would like to discuss ways that I discovered to help me handle this unpleasant experience.

When I first experienced reverse culture shock, I was not aware of what was going on. I felt depressed, discouraged, and disoriented, but I had no words to use to describe what I was feeling. I somehow came across a book called Re-Entry and found that the information imparted in this book helped me understand what I was experiencing; this knowledge in itself brought some relief. As I read this book, I was reassured that I was not the only one to go through reverse culture shock, and it gave me a vocabulary to use to be able to communicate my experience with others. If you are a missionary, I would highly recommend that you familiarise yourself with the issue of reverse culture shock so that you are prepared for when you go through it yourself or when someone you know is going through it.

Read More

Where Are You Home? The Journey to “Become Home”

Photo Credit: Shannon Mintz  Photographer: Felicity Davies

Sometimes as missionaries and expats we do not often express the sense of loss and separation one goes through when following the call of God that moves us across countries, cultures, and/or oceans. So I am thankful for Angharad’s post last week on the “pain of saying goodbye” to home for another country (if you missed it, you can read it here: The Pain of Saying “Goodbye”). I can also understand this on a personal level. And please don’t misunderstand me; as much of this is difficult, much is also a desired, exciting, and joy-filled experience.

But at the same time and maybe after going through stages of grief and journeying through transition to living somewhere else other than my “original home” (cultural, birthplace, family, etc.), I find myself in another place emotionally and maybe spiritually too – a place that surprises me today but in a good and thankful way. A place where I survey where I now live with more fondness, even with a love that continues to deepen. Where I claim the beauty, the diversity, the people, and with contentment my heart says, “Yes.”

Read More

You’re in a Spiritual Crisis? Find Out Why That’s Fantastic News!

Photo Credit: *Louise** via Compfight cc

Recently I was told, “You have a real gift for facilitating spiritual crisis.” To which I responded, “Uh… errr… thank you?” Luckily my source of flattery was a clinical psychologist, and we were talking about the Six Stages of Faith every human being (including you and I) are currently traversing.

Fun Fact: Spiritual crisis is the marker you may be shifting up a faith level. This is why I don’t flinch at these types of hushed missionary confessions anymore:

“I’ve never doubted my faith before, but now I doubt everything I used to know.”

“I’m critical of everything! I just can’t go to church anymore.”

And…

“Lately, I’m not sure I even believe in God.”

Once upon a time, I’d dig out my apologetics Bible college text book and frantically try to find the answers to fix these troubled folks, to ease their doubts, assure them of what they already know to be true. Today, I just smile and say, “You’re a missionary who doesn’t believe in God? Awesome. God is so excited!”

Read More

Copyright © 2017 | Youth With A Mission | Muizenberg | Cape Town