Rocky Mountain National Park, CO, 2010

How was multicultural ministry part of your summer at Rocky Mountain?

When I started my summer internship in the YMCA of the Rockies, I couldn't even imagine the cross-cultural experience I was about to have there. I know that part of the assignment was to be a witness of the grace and love of Jesus Christ. But to whom and how should I be a witness? People came to the Y from the US, Japan, China, Spain, Venezuela, Columbia, and Turkey. Some were Christians, some Buddhists, some Muslims, and some were not religious and not sure what they believed.

Every day I looked around the dining room for somebody sitting alone who seemed to be worried or sad. Something in my heart pulled me to the table of my Turkish friends. They were in America for the first time and their English was limited, but between the eight of us we were able to have a conversation. Since English is my second language, I understood their struggle and helped them with some translation. They had no transportation, so I offered them my car. I took them on a hike and on a camping trip. They wanted to be respected, so I respected them. They wanted to be accepted and loved, so I accepted and loved them. My Turkish friends think I did a lot for them, but they did more for me by allowing me to serve them in the name of Jesus Christ.

When we shared a meal, we also shared our faith and what we believe. They asked how many Bibles I have, and I answered, "There is only one Bible." Benjamin replied, "No! You have four bibles: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John." The door opened for me to talk to them about the good news, the gospels of Jesus Christ. While hiking in the mountains they shared a traditional Turkish love story with me, and asked if I knew any love story like that, opening the door for me to share my testimony of God's work in my life. I shared my favorite Bible verse Proverbs 3:5-6; they translated these verses for me in Turkish, and I read it to them in Turkish.

Now that I am back at Calvin Theological Seminary, I see how God worked through it all. To the question, "To whom should I witness?" my answer now is "To the world." To live a Christian life, I need to have fellowship not only with those who are like me, but also with those who are different.

To the question, "How should I be a witness?" my answer is "By living out my Christian beliefs and by being myself in Jesus Christ." It is not about what I do, but about what the Holy Spirit does in me. It's all about having relationships that glorify God.

"The most important thing that I learned this summer was to project the imago dei and to recognize it in others and embrace them for who they are."
– Brett, Princeton Theology Seminary 2011

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