God has told us to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). If I’m honest, this is hard to do because there are a lot of people groups living in Columbus who are very different than me. I need help beginning new relationships with those who don’t share my culture and, in some cases, my language. I easily look for those people I know so we can pick up where we left our conversation the last time we were together. It gets even harder to meet new people if there is an obvious difference in culture and language.
However, I am encouraged in the process when I observe others who take the initial step to meet new people from around the world. For this reason, a group from Grace will be traveling to Atlanta, Georgia, this June 25–July 1. Why Atlanta, you might ask? Atlanta is a huge city with even more cultural diversity than Columbus. It seems God has brought people from every continent to live there. It’s also a place where followers of Jesus are beginning to take steps to share Christ with their neighbors. I think you too would be encouraged by their example.
This week-long trip will allow participants to personally interact with local immigrants, refugees, and internationals. Hearing the stories of these people will expand your understanding of differing world views and will break down many barriers in your own heart.
One hope for this short-term trip is that the stereotypes in our minds would be broken by participating. Through personal interaction and getting to know internationals, we will be able to fulfill the intent of Leviticus 19:34, which says “you shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt; I am the Lord your God.”
I’d love to have you experience the growth that can happen in your life as you engage with those outside your culture and language in Atlanta. If you’d consider being a part of this trip, please contact me and I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have.
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Dan Green and Nancy moved back to the US after missionary service in Brazil with Encompass World Partners for 15 years. They were involved in evangelism, church planting, and leadership training. Dan grew up on a farm in Indiana, while Nancy comes from northeast Ohio. Dan studied at Purdue University (Agronomy), OSU (Soil Chemistry), and Columbia Graduate School of Bible and Missions. They have four children and six grandchildren. Dan enjoys gardening, camping, and international travel.