Tuesday Topic: God and Culture

God declares in His word that mankind is created in His very own image, each of us reflecting various characteristics of God himself. It is incredible when we take time to see how this truth is reflected in countries and people groups throughout the world, each with different cultures full of people reflecting various aspects of God’s very own nature. What are some aspects of the culture where you live where you see the image of God shining through? Are the people hospitable? Are they generous? Do they work hard to do quality work? Are they sacrificial?… We have friends here from Indonesia, Niger, Kenya, Hungary, Paraguay, Brazil, the U.S., Pakistan, Ukraine, India, Australia, Latvia, Kiribati….and all over the globe! It would be so encouraging to hear some of the certainly diverse ways that God’s character is being revealed throughout the earth!

(If you would like to pose a “Tuesday Topic” question, please email it to formissionarymoms@gmail.com . Provide your blog address if you would like to be linked to, and specify also if you would like to remain anonymous. Thanks!)


6 Responses to “Tuesday Topic: God and Culture”

  1. 1 Ashley L November 30, 2011 at 11:36 am

    I guess I am the only one who thinks this is an interesting topic! Oh well! =) I am always encouraged at some of the ways that the Russian people seem to invest sacrificially in relationships here. Whether it be how the younger generation often cares for their aging parents (very often by having them live with them and providing for them), or how the grandparent generation is often so helpful with their grandchildren, or how friends willingly sacrifice to help one another and have very close and long-lasting relationships, I have seen a lot of beautiful examples of deep and sacrificial relationship that seems in many ways like the way that God loves us deeply and sacrificially and is fully present in our lives for the long-haul (aka eternity!). Of course these aspects can have their downsides as well since we’re simply fallen people (living so closely with family isn’t always easy I hear), but in its purest form, I think it is really beautiful and I feel like I’ve learned a lot about loving people and caring sacrificially as a result of seeing how people do things here.

  2. 2 Tammy November 30, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    The Bible teaches that we are to rejoice with them that rejoice, and weep with them that weep. I see this lived out in the lives of the Tanzanians. (East Africa.) In fact, it reminds me of a recent event…

    We had just recently moved into a tiny house off of Lake Victoria; known as Bwiru Press area because of the African Inland Press. We hadn’t slept very well the past night because of loud music being played until around 6AM. We were tired and wondering if it was a wedding or a party. We were concerned that this would be a regular occurrence and keep us from enjoying sound nights of sleep. As I grumpily complained of it to a neighboring Tanzanian friend she explained that it was a funeral. She agreed that it had kept her children awake most of the night too and she was very tired from attending. However, her perspective was a bit more spiritual than mine. Okay, ALOT more spiritual. She said that even thought it keeps them from sleeping they are willing to stay up all night with the grieving family in order to keep them from grieving alone. Their thought is that singing Christian songs to the family they will keep their eyes on the Lord rather than on their grief. And I’M here to teach THEM?! It was definitely convicting and I hope I never complain about a lost night of rest due an all-night vigil with a grieving family.

  3. 3 Shilo November 30, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    I think it’s a super interesting topic, Ashley, just that maybe it takes a bit of thought to put it into words. 🙂
    In both of the countries we have served in, the people have been so hospitable. They always have time for each other and so spontaneously enjoy being together. I really learned a lot from them about letting go of the clock and planning and just being a welcoming person and having an accepting home. I’m so thankful.
    I know there are other things but I have a hungry munchkin here at my side! 🙂
    Have a great day, ladies!

  4. 4 Ashley L November 30, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Wow, Tammy, that story literally brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful representation of the image of God.

    And you’re right, Shilo, it does take a bit of time to think/write this one out! =) What an amazing blessing to experience and learn hospitality as you have in the places that you’ve served! I too desire to learn from those who have shown me the same kind of wonderful hospitality!

  5. 5 richelle November 30, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    one thing i love about our nigerien friends is how relationship oriented they are. people are always important. i’ve learned a lot about unity and being one in a cohesive group instead of looking towards individual best interests (or individual family best interests). like most african/hot climate cultures, generous hospitality abounds… and people are not so bound by schedules and watching the time.

    my absolute favorite, however, is that even in the midst of mind boggling poverty and deprivation, even without the secure hope of eternity in the presence of God, most choose to smile and laugh and find joy in the present moment, wherever it may be hiding – and accept both good and bad as coming from God’s hand.

  6. 6 junglewife December 1, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    I was actually on here, ready to reply as the first comment, and then couldn’t put into words what I wanted, so I logged off and then forgot about it. Maybe I’ll try to say what I want to say now 🙂
    It is sometimes hard for me to see the good in the culture here. Even in the good things that I am about to write, it is hard for me not to say “but…” and then list all the bad things that go along with it! So I will refrain here and just express the good.
    The culture here is very family-oriented. But it is not necessarily a nuclear-family sort of orientation, interestingly enough – it is definitely extended-family orientation. They are very loyal and protective of their extended family. If you have family, you will never have to worry about a place to live or food to put in your tummy.
    Like Tammy wrote, our culture here in Papua, Indonesia, is very supportive when someone dies. Always a whole crowd of people coming around the surviving family members to provide support, and wail and cry for them for several days after the death. Reminds me of what you read in the Bible about the mourners that were wailing when someone died.

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