Embracing Differences – By Andy Schreiner

After church today I changed into a casual Burmese outfit. It consisted of a longyi (a long skirt for men), t-shirt, sandals, and an ethnic satchel. Many stagings smiled and commended me for wearing a longyi. While in Burma, I purposefully wore the longyi to show the staging people that I support them, for who they are. With advertisements for designer denim jeans and shorts covering Burmese media, I wonder how many more years will the traditional longyi survive? I am truly concerned by the influence of western culture on countries like Burma. Moreover how this influence can impact missions.

It is my desire that we learn and respect the different cultures of our world, before we attempt to overwrite them. Adoniram Judson was a model missionary for he was dedicated to studying every aspect of Burma in order to best minister to the people. As a future missionary, it is my desire to learn the best practices of missions in order to be most effective when I am called into active duty.

Wherever we are sent, down the street or across the world, I pray that we embrace the culture we meet with unconditional love as Jesus did.

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My Experience:

Joshua Smith


“The vocation of the “pastor-theologian” is one that appeals deeply to my personal sense of calling. I have never felt particularly gifted as a “shepherd pastor,” or a “CEO pastor,” but have always had an abiding spiritual curiosity that has led me to seek God both intellectually and in community. Working on a Master of Arts in Theological Studies degree at Central gave me the valuable freedom to explore theology and biblical studies more deeply than I could have imagined. I not only learned how to conduct research in my field of New Testament studies, but I learned how to better form my own questions in search of answers. Central helped me to realize my own vision of making biblical scholarship accessible to the local parish, a vision that I hope to carry well into my future.”

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