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Giving and Receiving in Relationship

Mandie Quezada

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

We remember and celebrate the birth of King Jesus. We dive into seemingly endless Christmas shopping. We entertain friends and family. And there's still more on the to-do list. Despite our best intentions, sometimes good things such as these can begin to feel transactional while our dearest relationships get buried under wish lists, shopping sprees, and countless events. How did we end up here? We all want tow be generous and hospitable during Christmas, but the holiday rush and full schedule becomes a distraction. When we look at the origins of this special season, we find something very different.

Jesus chose to enter our messy world in a way that was far from transactional. In every step of his ministry, he relentlessly chose to prioritize lasting relationships rather than temporary results. After all, Jesus came as God with us, Emmanuel.

He is with us in our messy, broken situations. He is with us in our joys and successes. He is with us in our pain and with us in our healing. Our God is a relational God and his advent was prophesied thousands of years before his birth. The Christmas season offers us a beautiful reminder of this reality - that today and forevermore we will continue to experience the gift of Emmanuel.

In many ways it's easy for financial campaigns like Match 2022 to feel transactional rather than relational. A non-profit organizations asks for financial and prayer support and readers choose how they see fit to respond. In my role, I sometimes worry that time my time is spent more on mundane tasks rather than in building lasting relationships. This has been the furthest thing from my experience.

The response to our Match 2022 campaign has been steeped in relationship and support. Support that looks like gifts from former students currently working as global gospel workers. We've had support through matching gifts from co-workers. We've seen support through gifts accompanied by meaningful words of encouragement about CultureBound. I am blessed to watch God provide not only for our financial needs as an organization, but also for our relational needs as his people work together to expand his kingdom.

Indeed, here at CultureBound, we are all committed to the work of intercultural understanding for the sake of the Gospel. It's right there in our mission statement. What it all comes down to is relationship. As Paul said, "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging symbol." (1 Corinthians 13:1) Intercultural understanding in itself will not increase Gospel effectiveness. Only loving relationships can do that.

Put another way, our focus as an organization is to increase loving relationships with people who live and think and speak differently from us. What I'm reminded of in this holiday season is the way God is delightfully causing relationships to flourish among our family of supporters and donors through campaigns such as Match 2022. On behalf of our workers, students, colleagues, and the thousands of diverse people who are now part of Jesus' kingdom, we thank you.

There's still time to get involved. We are just over halfway to our goal of $10,000! Prayerfully consider if now is the time for you to support the work of CultureBound around the world. We thank God for how he works in the hearts of his believers to support the global church. You can give to Match 2022 here.

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