Experiencing a Week of Cross-Cultural Ministry

Experiencing a Week of Cross-Cultural Ministry

“Exposing young adults to areas of the world that do not know Jesus is critically important in order to take part in what we are commissioned to do in Matthew 28:19-20. If we do not experience the world, our eyes and hearts may be closed to what breaks God’s heart,” wrote Tina Chaput, Global Partners Regional Mobilizer in the Pacific Southwest region, as she reflected on leading five young adults on a trip to the Czech Republic in May 2023.

To help individuals explore their part in God’s mission, Global Partners (GP) offers several different pathways including short-term experiences through NEXT Week (a week-long immersive experience on a Global Partners field) and church Short-Term Team trips.

After three Regional Mobilizers led groups on short-term trips this past year, they are excited to see participants gaining clarity to their callings and expanding their worldviews.

Tina’s NEXT Week group learned about the GP team’s ministry in Brno. They visited public schools, led English conversation sessions, participated in youth ministry, attended a local church service and even hiked to a castle to learn about ancient history of the area.

Since the Czech Republic is an atheistic country, this group encountered the major eye-opening reality of just how powerful the calling to share Jesus really is.

Mindy Tharnish, a Regional Mobilizer in the Northeast region, led a group of eight Houghton University students on a NEXT week trip to Poděbrady in March 2023. Mindy said leading and offering these cross-cultural experiences is very important in order to disciple the next generation, and it’s a privilege to be involved.

“I am so grateful for the opportunity to lead groups of the next generation on these trips,” Mindy said. “It is so precious to me to watch the next generation of pastors, teachers and missionaries come alive in God and in new cultures!”

The Houghton group experienced a local church youth group, watched long-term missionaries interact with their local friends, ate meals with local Czech friends, had Czech language lessons and took part in English as a Second Language classes.

Christy Van Steenburg, Regional Mobilizer in the Southeastern region, led two teams to Panama in 2023 – a team of Southern Wesleyan University students, and a team from Parkway Church in Roanoke, Virginia. While there, each group built long-lasting relationships with the people of Panama, worked with the Wesleyan Church of Panama and learned about discipleship.

Following this trip, Christy debriefed with participants and listened to their stories of feeling stretched, feeling called to cross-cultural missions and of developing new-found passions for missions.

Experiencing a new culture and context in the world can certainly open eyes and hearts. We pray that each participant will develop meaningful relationships with locals, realize the urgent need to share the gospel, learn what it looks like to minister to people in a different cultural context and of course, become actively engaged in the Great Commission.

Please also join us in prayer for our Regional Mobilizers as they prepare to lead groups to several locations in March-June.

Are you interested in exploring trip opportunities, encountering God outside of your cultural context and connecting with GP missionaries on their fields?

Check out gponline.org/next#week for NEXT week opportunities, gponline.org/teams for Short-Term Teams or send a message to mobilization@gponline.org.

We can’t wait to see how God will bless your willing heart and your desire to grow!