You may have guessed it, this retreat focused on: engaging global cultures.
My hope for this post is to give you an inside look into what we experienced on the two-day retreat with Engage Global.
We first looked at GOD’S WORD. Rick Davis, from Engage Global, guided us throughout the entire Bible (Genesis-Revelation) to show us that again and again God has a heart for all nations or all peoples. Seeing God’s mission all throughout the Bible and not just in the New Testament was encouraging because you can see how this has been part of God’s plan from the beginning. Like God's promise to Isaac in Genesis 26:4:
"I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and will give to your offspring all these lands. And in your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed."
The next part of the weekend retreat focused on GOD’S WORLD, during different exercises and talks we were encouraged to approach the other cultures with a heart to learn and an open mindset. We went to one of the largest Hindu temples in the US. When we arrived we were guided on a tour around the temple to see 19 altars (based on larger temples in India) of deities which they explained represented one god. Each deity had unique attributes and depending on your stage of life you may concentrate on praying/asking deity for favor or help.
One highlight from this visit was engaging those in the temple and also joining them for lunch to ask additional questions to help gain additional understanding. We ask you pray for the 86% of Hindus don’t personally know a Christian that they would come to know a Christian and know of Jesus.
Next we were split into two groups, one going to the Somali Market and the other to the Hmong market. Before we left, we were encouraged to see this experience as a way to engage the person/people we meet and not their religion. I personally was a part of the group which went to the Somali market and it was a sweet experience because it was the night before the end of their fasting for Ramadan. This was a great way to engage those in the market and ask what they do to celebrate. Laura and I also were hoping to join some women to experience sitting in the temple during the call to prayer. We were welcomed by a group of women and it was a unique experience and the whole time we walked in the market, I felt like I was in a different country. Overall everyone was welcoming and helpful to us and even appreciated that we came out of our comfort zone specifically two women, Ionita and Nemu appreciated us for doing that.
Lastly, we learned about GOD’S WORK and more of how we can join in being a part of God’s story and the gospel going forth to the nations who do not yet know Him. Rick explained that we are called to be a world christian which is a person who: understands God’s heart for the world and strategically lives their lives in such a way that wherever they are and whatever they do, they are striving to see Him glorified among the nations.
[Revelation 5:9-10] “And they sang a new song, saying, Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”