July 17, 2023
The past six months have been very full and rewarding. In February, I taught for two weeks at the Caleb Institute near New Delhi, India. I’m working with them to develop a strong missiological curriculum and am providing books for their library. Next February, my former student and colleague, Dr. Jay Moon, will join me and teach a course on Intercultural Discipleship.
In March, I participated in training Chinese workers in understanding and developing cultural competence. This is a skill they need in order to develop effective cross-cultural relationships and ministry. We met in Chiang Mai, Thailand at the Juniper Tree, a place for rest and renewal for cross-cultural workers. I’ll return there in September for another week of training Chinese workers from around the world.
In April, I was a speaker, along with musician Terry Wildman, at the Tribal Ministry Conference in Tacoma, Washington. Wildman, of Ojibwa and Yaqui ancestry, was the lead translator of the First Nations Version: An Indigenous Translation of the New Testament, (InterVarsity Press 2021). I was honored to interact with the Native American and First Nations people who gathered from across the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
I have now discovered that right in my “back yard” there are many Native American groups struggling with how to be Followers of Jesus without denying their Native American identity. I had a fun moment when I began and said, “I don’t know what the organizers of this conference were thinking when they invited a Whiteman and a Wildman to be your main speakers, but I’m glad I’m here.” That brought a roar of laughter from the group.
In May I headed to Central Asia for a week in beautiful Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, one of the former Soviet Union states, located at the foothills of the Tien Shan snow-capped mountain range. enjoyed my morning runs through the tree-lined boulevards of the city — a lovely legacy from when the Russians occupied the city. I was training a group of 27 Chinese cross-cultural witnesses who work in the Middle East. I taught about overcoming culture shock and how to become a bicultural person. This seemed to scratch them where they itched, since working in the Middle East is especially challenging.
In between these trips I’ve been working with the publisher, Baker Academic, who is doing a wonderful job getting my book, Crossing Cultures with the Gospel: Anthropological Wisdom for Effective Christian Witness, ready for publication. Much of the teaching and training I’ve been doing the last 45 years will finally find its way into the 288 pages that will be published in February, 2024. It’s amazing how well copy editors can transform my writing into something that is much more readable and engaging, than I could have done on my own. It’s been a humbling but very rewarding experience. I’ll be sharing more about this book as the time draws closer to the publication date. Meanwhile here is a “sneak preview” of the cover:
On June 13, 2023, a podcast called Missiology.org aired an interview with me that was made last December. essentially tell how my life has led to what I’m doing now in retirement. You may be interested in listening and discovering some things you never knew about my long life. Click here to listen to “#30 – Darrell Whiteman” by The Missiology Podcast.
In the months ahead I’ll be going to Thailand in early September, and to Nagaland, India in November for more teaching and training people on “crossing cultures with the gospel.” I am so grateful that I have this privilege to make a contribution to the Kingdom of God through the work of Global Development. Thank you for your prayers and your financial support that makes all of this possible.