by Nick Steffen
In late June, Amber and I visited a family that has been living and working in southeast Asia for the past decade.
We glided across the local river in a dugout canoe with the dad as we traveled out to a primitive island where their company were marketing its products (water filters) to a population that is still learning the value of clean water.
We learned more about the local religion, culture and some of the challenges this family faces every day. It’s one thing to hear it in an email, but an entirely different experience to walk alongside them in person. Not only does it build empathy, it really helps when you communicate to others on their behalf later.
The mom walked us through local markets and introduced us to the local community. What a way to learn about day-to-day life in a different culture!
We had a blast with their four boys. While they told us stories about the biggest spiders they had seen, their extensive knowledge of dinosaurs, and their new interest in electronics, we were able to share other bits of ephemera from our time in Asia (including, but not limited to, a basic ninja skills class) — providing a little babysitting in the process.
Although Amber has been on the advocate team for this family for several years, this exciting opportunity offered us both the chance to meet them in their home and to share meals with them. As we got to know them better, they got to know us better too. For a short time, they allowed us to step into their adventure. It was a powerful time for all of us that we won’t soon forget.
If you too are interested in visiting those you are supporting, we have an exciting opportunity for you!
The Bluffton/Bluffton North ACC core team is happy to announce that there are funds available to cover up to 50% of your costs to visit the missionary family you are representing. The purpose of the fund is to help us better connect with our missionary families and to communicate their story to our local congregations. If you have a conviction to visit your missionary, but would need financial assistance, please consider applying for this grant. These funds are available to both individuals and families. All grant applications will be reviewed by the core team.