Current Connect participant, Alex* enrolled in an Art Class in her neighbourhood as well as interviewed people from her work in order to build relationships with others and meet people. Having interviewed and met people from Fiji, Nepal, India, Lebanon and Bangladesh, Alex was incredibly encouraged and enjoyed the process of understanding other people’s worldviews through completing Module 4: Communication & Culture and Module 6: Culture & Acquisition. When given the opportunity to interview people from all different nations, she felt that it really boosted the relationships she had with them.
“It’s one thing to just sit on your computer and do your studies and reflect on things and it’s another to actually have to go out and interact with people and try and observe culture.”
Q: What wisdom have you gained from doing Modules 4 and 6 on the topics of Communication and Culture? How has your knowledge grown and your outlook or values changed?
Alex: Doing this course has impacted my thinking a lot. I was able to see aspects of different people’s worldview come out in the Bible. You’re not just reading the Bible with your own worldview in mind but realising that there are elements that each culture can relate to and elements that are counter cultural as well. When I experience culture clash it’s not just me having to change to someone else’s strange ideas, but I am given the opportunity to have a greater appreciation of scripture. I have learnt that the Bible is not just aimed at individualistic cultures or collectivistic cultures, but there are aspects necessary for both.
“Studying culture and communication makes you understand yourself better, understand why you do things or think the way you think and appreciate other people’s positions more.”
Q: How have you found the one-on-one mentoring and going at your own pace with a mentor in Connect?
Alex: My mentors for these Modules would ask questions like ‘What would it be like if you didn’t have the scriptures in their own language? How would that impact your life?’ Their stories and explanations of what things are really like for people who do not have access to God’s word really helped me to understand things better and to realise the importance of getting the message out. They’ve been really encouraging and have given really great guidance.
“Having a mentor to walk through the Module with you really helps with the learning process because they have experience and are able to give you another way of looking at things, understanding things more deeply. It’s not just academic theory, it’s people who have been there and done the things we are learning about. They know what that’s like and what works and what doesn’t and what some of the challenges are.”
Q: What would you say to other Connect participants who are yet to complete Module 4 and 6?
Alex: In some way they were the hardest modules and most daunting but some of the most fun because you get to talk to people and observe things in the community. It can be quite hard to see things from a different vantage point, but it’s important to appreciate the value in it.
“Be willing to let these modules change your thinking and to be encouraged to look at life from other perspectives.”
 Names changed.