Insights by a much-experienced cross-cultural worker couple
Walking alongside others brings both joys and challenges. Cross-cultural issues brings more complexity. It’s a privilege to learn from those who have been ‘along-siders’ in varied roles over many years. In July 2023 we heard from a couple who worked in health and community development in S.E. Asia – their first assignment when they were young, and the last is ongoing – starting with an NGO position and continuing many years on as a personal commitment.
Most global work situations involve an outsider becoming an ‘along-sider’. Usually the outsider comes with knowledge, skills and experience from their own work, or personal, or ministry experience. H & P, as we’ll call them, have developed deep relationships with a local village and with a key local couple who are engaged in significant care and ministry.
The opportunity for an ongoing relationship arose out of decisions they made. One early decision, was where they would live. This led to living in a local village, beyond the edge of the main city. This was vital in the Lord’s leading them, as it provided the relationships on which to build understanding, and trust. They highlighted the joy and privilege of being able to share about medicines, as God’s good gifts. The challenges they most deeply felt was the need for renewal among God’s people, for instance in the way employers care for their staff.
What they shared helped build a picture of some key aspects for a Christian coming from ‘outside’ in order to walk and work alongside locals. One of those attending this webinar has a personal interest in working in the same location – so it was especially interesting to her!
What helps the group of people work together well? What satisfaction comes with achieving a goal? How much do inter-personal relationships play a role? who are the mentors? Is learning and sharing actually 2-way? What gives joy to the weary? What might make you want to give up? – These are questions Aztem can help you think about, with experience across many nations, dozens of occupations and a range of employment bases – NGO’s, own business, larger companies, research openings, inter-governmental agencies.
So, if you are a Christian professional hoping to work in a cross-cultural context and seeking to share your faith, why not contact us? We’ll be able to say honestly and openly, whether we have the experience to help journey with you.