Pray: Kingdom Culture

4/26/2013 11:59:00 AM sendtheroths 1 Comments

"All things to all people,” is what Paul said. But too often we can take that out of context and constrain it to justifying compromise in our lives. “All things to all people,” should draw us to our knees and into the Ancient Texts more deeply. 

We live on the top two floors of this large house that
has been converted into two separate flats. We share this house
with a Congolese family. 
We returned to Congo last Saturday and are unpacking, having board meetings, hiring new staff, as well as casting and implementing vision for the GOF-Congo team. God has brought us such a diverse group of Congolese: lawyers, teachers, university students, security officers and people with very different ethnic, denominational and socio-economic backgrounds.

Although, we have namely dealt with legalities, paperwork, administration and planning, all which are required to do anything—I’ve been looking a little deeper at our Congo family.

Do they really know the Holy Spirit?

Congolese are particularly intellectual people. But, what is the downfall of an intellectual? It’s their mind.

What does it matter if we have a faithful, qualified and diverse team of people in Congo, if we can’t hear from the Holy Spirit?

I’ve learned that the same bondage the western world has put upon itself to wrap its mind around tongues, prophecy and all the supernatural gifts is the same bondage I see in our own friends and family in Congo.

Andrew and I face three layers of cultural barriers:

Andrew discussing the Timothy Program with Joseph. This
program identifies leaders of former child soldiers and
trains them on how to facilitate reintegration
into their village.
1. The African or Bantu layer: the most obvious layer, which is often opposite to western culture. What’s considered a compliment here can be taken pretty offensively where we are from. Take this for example.  Africans often spout compliments as questions.

African: “Can I have your shirt?” (this is a compliment)

Now add the Congo-style forward and directness: “Give me your shirt.”

 Now this seems like an easy solution. Just say no.

Wrong. You see, in African culture, you should not say “no,” directly. It can hurt a relationship.

Africans LOVE playing around with words. And since Congolese are intellectual—they are really good at it. The solution is that you say something witty to indirectly say that you aren’t giving away your shirt.

2. The French layer: cultural experts say that French culture is as opposite to US culture as is Japanese culture. Congo is a French-colonized country and there are all kinds of things that throw us for a loop, because of this layer of culture. To say that the French language is a cultural barrier is only scratching the surface to something far deeper.

3. The flesh/mind layer: this layer is present for anyone who is trying to teach about the Holy Spirit. It doesn’t make sense intellectually.

View of the Nyiragongo Volcano from outside our house.
I write with tears in my eyes, because I desire so intensely for the people we work with to get it. I know that it is our responsibility as leaders to help this Kingdom culture come into fruition in the organization. I’m not sure how to do this except constant prayer, worship and fasting.

It will be impossible to get anything done if we try and pretend that we are like any of these large non-governmental organizations or intergovernmental organizations (i.e. International Red Cross, UNICEF or World Vision). Goma does not need another organization. It needs the Kingdom. The Kingdom cannot come to earth if we are not a peculiar people lead by the Holy Spirit.

My prayer is not for better framework or infrastructure—although these are definite needs!

My prayer is that every member of GOF-C will operate in the Holy Spirit with gifts of tongues, prophecy, faith and even dreams, picture and visions on a regular basis.

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