Cross-cultural workers need to: Write. Smart. Safely. Well. Soon.
John and Jane Missionary are both happy and disgruntled. They are happy their Foreign Secretary gives them five minutes to share at conference council where delegates will be present; they are unhappy because they wanted 20. John and Jane Missionary are happy to write newsletters that go to dozens of financial supporters; they are unhappy because The Messenger editor nags them to write four 500-word articles (with a photo or two) per year. They don’t like to write, there isn’t time, and there are many more important activities.
Do the Math:
If you were given 20 minutes to speak to 3,300 people, how would you rate this assignment’s importance?
John and Jane Missionary, who serve in Village A, meet Jose Ruiz. They write an article that says, “Jose Ruiz has a problem with drinking. His wife says he beats her. Please pray for him that he will find Jesus.” The editor publishes the article and a PDF copy is placed on the Internet. A friend of Jose’s discovers the reference. Jose objects and says he will sue the missionaries and the magazine for libel. His wife will no longer visit with Jane. How would the possibility of a lawsuit threaten to ruin John and Jane Missionary’s day, their finances, and their ministry?
John and Jane Missionary work in a restricted access country. They screen their mail and are careful in print. On furlough they visit and happily report in an EM church, and a church reporter happily includes their names and status as missionaries in an article that is happily published in the national publication that is happily placed on the Internet. Who is happy then?
John and Jane Missionary and children proudly pose for their missionary card photo. The card goes to the homes of supporters, supporting churches, to their denominational magazine, and (along with a missions report) is posted on the Internet. Suddenly John and Jane are uncomfortable: the photos and names of their young children are available on the Internet. Should they worry? Why did they give the magazine the photo they did?
Write. Smart. Safely.
Why should we have to learn these things? they wonder. It is really worth it when it is so tough? So they turn away in disgust. Their night’s reading is to brush up on Spanish verbs. Now that’s easy!
Write. Smart. Safely. Well.
Do the Math (Again):
For how many Sundays would John and Jane Missionary have to present in various churches in order to reach the same number of people four times a year?
Write. Smart. Safely. Well. Soon.