The Cultural Iceberg and Identity: Collectivist vs. Individualistic Societies

cultural iceberg

We’re excited to welcome back Sheri of Engineering Ministries International for her final post of her invaluable three-part series on “cultural icebergs”.

EMI mobilizes architects, engineers, construction managers, and other design professionals–including those through an incredible internship program–to provide design services for those helping the poor. We’re talking water projects, hospitals, schools, orphanages, you name it. Meanwhile, they raise up disciples and trained professionals in-country. read more

The Cultural Iceberg: What You Need to Know about Cross-cultural Communication

cultural iceberg

We’re excited to welcome back Sheri of Engineering Ministries International. EMI mobilizes architects, engineers, construction managers, and other design professionals–including those through an incredible internship program–to provide design services for those helping the poor. We’re talking water projects, hospitals, schools, orphanages, you name it. Meanwhile, they raise up disciples and trained professionals in-country.

Sheri applies these cross-cultural points poignantly to the elements of designing cross-culturally–but we believe you’ll find inescapable parallels to any cross-cultural work. Hopefully it will help jumpstart real solutions for cross-cultural sensitivities, and help any culture manifest Jesus Christ according to its own cultural icebergs. read more

What Lies Beneath: Recognizing Cultural “Icebergs”

cultural iceberg

We’re excited to welcome Sheri of Engineering Ministries International. EMI mobilizes architects, engineers, construction managers, and other design professionals–including those through an incredible internship program–to provide design services for those helping the poor. We’re talking water projects, hospitals, schools, orphanages, you name it. Meanwhile, they raise up disciples and trained professionals in-country.

Sheri applies these cross-cultural points poignantly to the elements of designing cross-culturally–but we believe you’ll find inescapable parallels to any cross-cultural work. Hopefully it will help jumpstart real solutions for cross-cultural sensitivities, and help any culture manifest Jesus Christ according to its own cultural icebergs. read more

Thoughts on a Friday: The DNA We Share

This morning I walked into a hotel lobby.  Two tables were set up on opposite sides of the walkway. The empty chairs at one table huddled beneath CNN’s scrolling feed. The empty chairs at the other clustered around FOX News.

I thought, This is a picture of America.

These are stratifying, polarizing times. And as you consider going overseas, it becomes imperative that you become aware of your own biases and angles. (Your host country, the further you immerse, will help you.) Your host country will have them as well. And perhaps you, too, will absorb a lesson we seem to learn over and over again interacting with other cultures and at times, blatant racism: read more

HE SAID/SHE SAID. YOU SAY? “WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU’D KNOWN BEFORE YOU WENT?” PART II

Missed Part I? Grab it here!

“I wish I’d known how hard it really is.”

I would have gotten more cross-cultural training, especially focused on the culture to which I was going. I would have taken more time in language learning. But most of all, I needed realistic expectations.

Working in a foreign field is the same as being in a war. I know: I’ve fought in both. And the similarities are striking.

There is not much glorious about warfare. It may look exciting on TV or in the movies, but in the trenches it’s a lot of hard work. And the enemy has ambushes everywhere. Often you can’t tell the enemy from the friendly. And your friends get injured and killed. It hurts. read more