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South Africa What We Leave Behind by David N. McCrum John, Jacob and Katherine were born in Emalahleni, South Africa. To my little South Africans, America is a foreign country. While traveling the furlough miles, our beloved America continually fascinates us. Taco Bell and Pizza Hut delight our simple tastes. Warm, soft doughnuts are just marvelous. But for the missionary living in two worlds, the culture shock of returning to America involves more than relishing forgotten foods. When leaving one culture for another, the attentive missionary must distinguish his culture from his Christianity. Culture touches every part of our lives. It ranges from simple hairstyles to matters of idolatry. The missionary constantly wonders, “How much of my own culture do I remove?” and “What parts of other cultures need to be removed?” When exchanging one culture for another, how is one to sort through the confusion of what to leave behind? We must become Gospel-oriented. Cultural conflict thrusts itself into the missionary's everyday life. How far will he adopt local dress? What customs will he participate in? Will he hire nationals? What kind of music is appropriate? What is the best education for his children? Adopting another language and appearance brings affinity with the people of one culture while alienating others. Hudson Taylor's ponytail spawned new enemies. Amy Carmichael's coffee-dyed skin appeared peculiar to Western eyes. These situations pose more questions than the Burger King drink dispensing machine offering one hundred and twenty flavors. When Paul ministered cross-culturally, he left much behind. He confessed, Hudson Taylor Amy Carmichael 24 BIMI WORLD Number 1, 2014