Team Tunisia spent three and a half weeks as learners and servants learning to minister humbly to the Tunisian people. Through city exploration, English camps for children, time with local college students who wished to practice their English, and other projects, Team Tunisia was able to engage in conversations with the local people. They quickly learned that Tunisians have equal amounts of stereotypes about Americans as Americans do about Arabs or Muslims, and they tend to assume that all Americans are Christians. Therefore, through conversations and interactions, as the team helped break down American stereotypes, they may also have been changing their preconceptions of Christians as well.
The team spent the first half of the trip in the capital city, Tunis, learning the language, learning about the culture and the history, and learning about the Church from local missionaries and believers. The church in Tunisia is growing, and God is bringing people to Him in the most unique ways, including satellite television and radio. The team practiced their Arabic in the marketplaces, surprising many locals who are accustomed to Westerners expecting them to communicate in English.
The team spent the second half of the trip in Gabes, a city in the southern part of Tunisia on the edge of the Sahara Desert. The team experienced the Sahara and the people who reside there. The women spent four days working at a center for abandoned babies, working twelve hour shifts with fifteen babies under the age of three. The rest of the team spent four days in a town south of Gabes where they built a playground for a school for disabled children. While there, they established relationships with many local authorities, strengthening the trust between the government and all missionary organizations.
Overall, the experience far exceeded any and all expectations.
Posted: September 13, 2005