Our world is not one-dimensional. It’s easy to look around at the churches we attend and not give another thought to the fact that there is someone, somewhere in the world, meeting at the same time who is from an entirely different spiritual background.
When we talk about church history, we think of it in the framework it’s taught. we don’t consider that maybe the view we have been taught is inaccurate or contains inconsistencies. We carry what we’ve been taught as a part of our identity; our tradition; and we don’t see the world of Christianity through any viewpoint but our own.
In teaching missions (I am author of the book, Introduction To Missions, Published by Apostolic University Press in 2017) I recognize the basic foundation of any good missions philosophy or experience to be diversity, inclusion, and multiculturalism. If the Bible is for everyone, then we are here for everyone, to reach all and to reach out to all. In order to do this right, we need to have a healthy respect for culture and for cultural understanding.
As a part of understanding diaspora missions (the work of missions among different cultural groups in our own country or in any country where people may be natively from one place, and now living in another), I have set out to see how Christians and proclaimed believers of all sorts worship within their own cultural understanding. In an effort to inspire my students to reach out, help, serve, teach, and lead others to Christ, I am taking the first step to learn more about what is going on in the world and show others I care by learning about them.
Parts of my journey are funny. Some of it is reflective. Some of it causes me to dig deeper, explain more of what different people believe, and show another side. All in all, it is an ultimate reminder that we can do the work of God, no matter where we are, if we are only willing to reach out.
– Dr. Lee Ann B. Marino, Ph.D., D.Min., D.D.