We want to hear your answers! Read about how more Response readers connect across the globe, tell others about your own experiences, and answer the next issue’s question.
I continue to contact people, both missionaries and nationals, I have known because of my missionary work in Ecuador and Haiti, as well as read all that I can relating to international affairs.
Vernon Hall ’52
Camano Island, Washington
After going on a mission trip to Argentina this year, I made many friends who live in Argentina. I connect with them in many ways. I mostly talk to them through Facebook, but I also talk to them through an iPhone app called “WhatsApp,” which allows for free texting. I hope to attend SPU as a freshman in 2014–15.
One of my best friends lives in Poland and we make time to video chat almost every weekend. We talk about our lives, the books we’re reading, what movies we’ve seen, and the normal friendship stuff that people do. There are lots of things we don’t quite understand, and we have to stop to figure out what we both mean. That’s strengthened our friendship, because we’ve learned to be patient with one another. Things really do get lost in translation, even if you’re both speaking the same language.
Rebecca Taylor ’06
Mountain View, California
I currently live and serve in Indonesia as a nurse-midwife at a mission hospital. My favorite way to stay connected with other parts of the globe is through reading blogs and newsletters of friends serving around the world. I also try once a day (if the Internet is working) to read online versions of BBC News, a web page for a TV station near my home in the U.S., and an online version of one
of the Indonesian papers.
Calista Yates ’01
In my community, Tukwila, parts of the globe are right here! Connecting means getting to know my neighbors and enjoying the diversity of cultures they have brought here. It’s enjoying being invited in for a cup of Nepali tea, or sitting on the steps chatting with a Burmese mom as her children play nearby. It’s building friendships just as one would do in any community, but appreciating the fact that I get to do that with people from all parts of the globe who have ended up here contributing a cultural richness to this part of the world. I am truly blessed to live in such a community!
Katrina Dohn ’86
My wife, Sharon, and I like to travel and have made a number of trips to the Far East, Europe, and the Middle East. On our first visit to Romania, we hired a guide for two days of sightseeing. He was friendly and knowledgeable, so on our second visit we used him again and spent eight days traveling in rural Romania, where we visited many small villages, almost 20 old churches — most of which are now UNESCO World Heritage Sites — as well as other fascinating locations. We now consider our Romanian guide a good friend and communicate with him via email and Facebook. We are also now sponsoring a young Romanian girl through World Vision, so another trip may be in our future.
Jim Lancaster ’61 and Sharon Green Lancaster MA ’67
In 1990, I was one of four representatives of the Free Methodist Church to go to Hungary, exploring planting a church there. We met a Christian member of the Hungarian Parliament who was on a committee drafting a new constitution following decades of Communist rule. He invited us to testify before the constitutional committee to talk about freedom of religion in America.
All four of us spoke to those eager national leaders. They listened with rapt attention as we spoke through an interpreter. As editor of Light and Life magazine, I addressed the issue, then offered complementary subscriptions for those who were conversant in English. I connected with Hungarian national leaders in person and via the printed page.
Bob Haslam, ’50
Mostly through Facebook. Email is next. Trips to visit friends in other places about once a year.
Margaret Nelson ’71
Scotts Valley, California
We are raising a “small army” locally and, while personally unable to travel or connect globally, we have encouraged and supported our children in this endeavor. Our 2013 high school graduate has already begun traveling, connecting with others globally and sharing her faith. She will be the first SPU student from our family this fall (2013) and she is eager to meet this challenge. We are happy to support them all as they go forth.
Facebook definitely works.
Debbie Holt Ericson ’75
Well it takes time. God will weave friends into your life; then the journey begins. I usually want to know about my friend’s life, their family, and what weighs on their heart. The Holy Spirit is the perfect prompter of the order in which questions are asked and aids in encouraging the person. This may happen on a first encounter or over many contact points in the relationship. It’s really up to God to guide the friendship. Usually it’s best to think in terms of a life-long journey with one another with no motive other than to see all that God wants for you friend.
I work at Associates in Cultural Exchange Language Institute (also known as A.C.E Language Institute) and working at A.C.E has been a wonderful experience. I get to engage with students from all over the world, including from China, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Mongolia, Japan, and Spain. Being involved with A.C.E has been rewarding because not only is it culturally enriching, but it's fulfilling because you're giving the students an opportunity to create new relationships by practicing their English. You could be creating relationships that could last a lifetime. So, by creating new cross cultural relationships you're giving yourself an opportunity to learn more about you and others around the world. If we want the future to change, we, the students, must know what is out in the world and there is no better way to get a better understanding of how the world works than by seeking new cross-cultural experiences.
Rebecca Perez, SPU senior
How do you connect with parts of the globe other than your own? Tell us and read what others have said.
You can also answer the new question for the upcoming Winter 2014 issue.