Thursday, June 08, 2006

i'm a friendly nerd

Summer Missionaries

I knew it! I knew it would be positively gorgeous. Last night as the plane began its decent, we passed Mt. Jefferson on the left just as the rose rays of sunset rested on the snow-covered peak. Breathtaking.

I was met at the airport by a lovely woman from the Northwest convention office. As we drove to the retreat center, we spoke of everything from the two years she ministered in Perth, Australia, to our mutual appreciation for ethnic food. I had made an immediate friend.

In the morning, the group of summer missionaries … ah yes, on a side note: I am the oldest one here … spent a better part of the day assessing our God-given talents and strengths, making it easier to determine how our time and energy might best be used for ministry of the gospel of Christ.

To summarize:

My communication talents:
Writing words (10 out of 10)
Conversing (9)
Acting (5)

My relational talent:
Multi-relational (bonding quickly to form new friendships within minutes or hours)

My functional talents:
Promoting (10)
Quick Reflex (10)
Analyzing (8)
Research (8)
Imagining (7)
Initiating (7)
Solving Problems (7)

There you have it. I’m a friendly nerd.

I’m concerned for most of these kids. The overwhelming majority of them are from either Texas or Mississippi. How many of them even know have ever experienced a Post-Christian or Postmodern culture? Will they know how to relate to the people here? To love them. To listen to their stories. To speak the Truth in love to a region that has largely rejected the validity of the Truth.

If anything, these college kids will grow and see God work in ways they could have never dreamed of back home.

To God be the glory.


The Borg said...

This is all in good humour, but that photo... it could be taken in no other country...

Needless to say, it's a lovely one of you, Christine.

ckhnat said...

you sayin' they look American?

The Borg said...

It's the demin, the cleaness, the perfect hair, the grins, the primary colours, the je ne sais quoi of it all...

The Borg said...

Oh and the even tans, and the guy looks like a footballer.

G. F. McDowell said...

What flavour of football? Aussie, Euro, American???


The Borg said...

I was thinking American. Square jaw-ness.

I'm not serious in my stereotyping. I am well aware that American is a diverse place. Besides, I'm one of the few Aussies qualified to tease, since I'm an American citizen too.

Ruth said...

Can I say, Shiloh - I had exactly the same thought when I saw the photo!

mike said...

Agreed Americans all look the same ;). But I was thinking how lucky is square jawed footy player up the back.

The Borg said...


Anonymous said...

Who is the NIKE girl up front. She looks familiar.

Alex & Laura Beth said...

Christine, what exactly are you saying about people from Mississippi? You know that's where I grew up.

ckhnat said...

I'm saying most people from Missippi (supposedly how it's pronounced by the locals) haven't been to Washington before.

Nike girl is named Lindsey ... a rather spunky girl from Texas.

Yeah, Dustin was pimpin' it.

Angus said...

I think the key is the perfect teeth. America has perfected dentistry. :)

The Borg said...

Them are some nice sets of pearls.

America may have perfected denistry, but how do they all afford to partake in the perfection without public medical assistance??

The Borg said...

This is a long shot, but maybe the average American looks a bit ethnically different to the average Australian? America had way more continental European settlers than Australia (which was pretty much had settlers from the British Isles). Just a thought. Happy for it to be refuted (as I am with all my thoughts :)).

Katie said...

Just putting in a thought on the question you posed about us southern bible belters (texan folk) - great question, one I ponder regarding the students at my school, a fear I have, will they be relevant, but more will they be able to listen and love what is different from them? Such great questions and so hard to prepare kids for before they encounter that culture.

ckhnat said...

S'lo - hmm, interesting thoughts. When I was in the Czech Republic last summer i was amazed with how much i looked like the local women. ah, i'm home. i should have just looked up a couple of Hnats in the phonebook and showed up at their door. "Ahoy! Isam (I am) Christine Hnatova! Americanka!"

Katie - It's good to hear that others are concerned. What do you think we can do to prepare this next group of Christian leaders to love the Gospel, love their churches, and love their culture?

Katie said...

great question with no clear cut answer, I don't think this lesson is found in a book somewhere called Five Steps to Loving the World and Being Relevant, I think it comes down to teaching hearts

I'm thinking, if i come up with anything good I'll be back

mike said...

You are seeing my cheeky nature begin to come out here... read my comment :) Love you