In order to support his family, Gasem worked hard in his little shop in the bazaar in Meshed, Iran. Every day at lunch time, he would close his shop buy some bread and cheese and go home to share it with his family. One day, the grocer wrapped the cheese in the page of a book. After the meal Gasem read the story on the page to his family. It was so interesting that Gasem continued to request the cheese be wrapped in that particular book’s pages. The book was a Persian New Testament. And the pages of that New Testament introduced the whole family to Christ.
Although I’ve never been to a foreign country, I have met people who have been to interesting places. Sharon lived in Israel for ten months. My sister currently lives in Korea. Mike, Jim, and Laura have visited the UK. And Joel and Katrina have been to Iceland. The closest I’ve ever been to the foreign mission field is Ann Arbor, Michigan. (But it’s nothing to write home about.)
While I may never travel abroad, I have been able to read about various cultures. A current book I am reading is Tales of Persia by William Miller, a presbyterian missionary who ministered in Iran in the early 1900’s. The book was written by Miller for his grandchildren and I found it to be an easy read. I liked it so much that our church will be adapting several chapters for use in our summer Vacation Bible School program.
Information about different places within the United States can also be interesting. How many people live in Painesville? How much would a house cost if we had stayed in Niagara? What kind of schooling is available in Mentor? Much of that information is available here. The site allows you to look up information about any US city: geography, population, income level, housing costs, climate, schools, and churches. I found it to be quite interesting. You might try it for the city in which you are ministering.