Ross and Christine Paterson's Blog

Reflections from Our Journey

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Crossing Cultures 101

Published on September 13, 2019

We have just launched our most recent course Crossing Cultures 101! It’s free to complete and consists of 3 online modules with several lessons in each, to be completed in your own time.

This is the course we wish we could have done before starting our missionary journeys - and, after learning a lot of things the hard way, it’s the course we would recommend to you!

Crossing Cultures 101, as the name suggests, is a very basic introduction to the subject of what it takes to move into a new culture and thrive there. In a sense it is so basic that it will probably raise more questions than it answers. But that might just be helpful! Better to start having the conversation before you go than to be shocked when you get there by issues you were not expecting.

We know from personal experience that having sufficient support and training is vital to thriving on the mission field. Our concern is that across the world, there are many who are setting off without those very things. This course won’t give specific help for adjusting to the actual culture you are moving to, but it will give a lot of general principles that will apply in any crossing-culture experience.

We think there are three different groups that would benefit from doing this course…

Firstly, those who feel called to go and are just beginning to research their way to finding out what is involved. I’d like to think this course would give you the basics and cover, with broad brushstrokes, the things you need to know as you begin to embark on this journey.

Secondly, those who have already set out on the journey and are discovering, perhaps the hard way, that there are a whole host of things you had not thought about before you left. For your encouragement, both Ross and I started out this way, with no cultural training, and we at separate times had to learn everything the hard way. We wish there had been a course like this that we could have done back in the day! It certainly would have helped.

And thirdly, our target is the churches that are sending folk out – for those churches to know, if they don’t already, what it takes to support those they send out well. If you fit the role of a sender rather than a go-er, you may prefer to skip the first two modules and focus only on the third. But on the other hand, doing the first two modules might also help you understand what those who have gone out are experiencing when they go through culture shock, for example, not knowing what has hit them. Finding that this is a normal part of the process of cultural adaptation will help mitigate the concern you might otherwise feel as you hear about their struggles. They will need your understanding to help them push through and come out reasonably intact the other side!

So that’s it - three modules, about 13 lessons in total, taking only about six hours to complete! There are other free courses on the site that you can also sign up for (go to: https://courses.fieldpartner.org/courses), and more will added in time. We will be there in support as well, and, in addition, we’d love to see fellow students form a cohort amongst themselves, providing mutual support and encouragement.

If you are reading this and you fit any of the categories mentioned above, I’d like to invite you to sample the course and give us your feedback in the box below. Or, if you know anyone else to whom it might apply, please forward the link to them as well.

Thank you for your interest and welcome to FieldPartner!

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Christine Paterson
Reflections from Our Journey - Our Missionary Blog

Email: ask@fieldpartner.org
Facebook: FieldPartnerInternational
Courses for Cross Cultural Missionaries: https://courses.fieldpartner.org

Crossing Cultures 101 is recently completed and we are launching it properly in September. Why don’t you check it out, and all of our courses, which are totally free to join! Take a look here: https://courses.fieldpartner.org/p/crossing-cultures-101

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