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Cross-Cultural Outreach at Waypoint: An Interview with Joy Mikhail

Cross-Cultural Outreach at Waypoint: An Interview with Joy Mikhail

By Erika Castiglione

If you have been around Waypoint for even a short time, you are probably aware that we are committed to cross-cultural ministry. However, you might not yet have had the chance to meet Joy Mikhail, our director of local missions and point person when it comes to cross-cultural outreach. Earlier this week, I took some time to sit down with Joy and hear a little more about the many ways to be a part of cross-cultural outreach through Waypoint. I hope you’ll be encouraged and possibly find a way to plug in and get involved.

First off, what do we mean when we say Cross-Cultural Outreach (CCO)?

CCO includes ministry to refugees, immigrants, and international people groups, but it isn’t just ministry to those from different countries, but ministry to anyone who has different values. It is also entering into people’s lives knowing that we are not going to be fixers but meeting them where they are and walking alongside them.

There are three Cultural tips which I call the three E’s:

ENGAGE CULTURE:Cultural understanding is crucial to this ministry. The Gospel is trans-culture. It engages every culture and reconciles everyone to God, themselves, each other, and our world. (Revelation 7:9)

EMBRACE DIFFERENCES:God created a diverse world. We should embrace and celebrate differences. Grace should be given for offenses that stem from these differences. (Rev. 5:9-10)

EMPOWER PEOPLE:Empower individuals in the community by affirming their God-given dignity. Help your neighbors assess their God given gifts and abilities. Challenge them to step out and use those gifts and abilities because everyone has something to offer.

Why do you think it is important for Christians to be involved in CCO?

One of the themes in the Bible is servant-hood. As a church, we are to be deeply and practically committed to deeds of compassion and social justice and deeply and practically committed to evangelism. CCO is a call to humbly serve others. It is also a call to share the gospel. We want every member of our church to see themselves as ambassadors of the gospel as they fulfill the unique calling God has given each of them in the triangle and the world. Holistic missional living can bring personal conversion, community formation, Biblical justice, and Gospel culture to the Triangle and to the world!

What are some of the ways to be involved with CCO at Waypoint from low-commitment to high-commitment?

Prayer gathering/walking: Thursdays at 6:00PM, we gather to pray for the community.

Bible club: Tuesdays 6:30-8:00PM, Fridays 6:00-7:30PM. If you like kids, you can tell Bible stories or just help out (curriculum provided).

GoLead Ministry (lead, educate, advance, disciple): also meets Tuesdays 6:30-8:00PM and Fridays 6:00-7:30PM. Help 6-16 year-olds with homework and reading in order to help them succeed in school (curriculum provided).

Conversation Partners: This is an opportunity to meet with adults, normally at their homes, to help them improve their English skills.

English as a Second Language Ministry: Fridays 6:00-7:30PM. We use the Gospel of Mark to teach English. You could be a teacher or a one on one helper (curriculum provided).

Citizenship Class: Tuesday 6:30-8:00PM. Refugees get citizenship after 5 years. This class helps not only prepare them for the test, but helps them understand their rights and responsibilities as a citizen. We also share the Bible story at the beginning of each class.

CCO Intentional Living: Like Christ came and dwelt among us, we want to live among those we serve and build gospel communities. This is a one to two-year commitment.

Soccer Club: Saturday 9:30-11:00AM. Soccer Club ministry is one of our powerful outreach tools to neighborhood kids and youth. We use athletic training and competition to teach young men and women to be leaders for Christ in all that they do, and at the same time build character, integrity, and discipline.

All of these opportunities are family friendly. Children can be a part of the ministry simply by making friends. If one of these seems like the right fit for you, you can e-mail me ( to sign up or learn more.

Can you share a personal story of how you have grown closer to Christ by participating in CCO?

CCO is very humbling. I’ve observed the importance of leading from weakness. When involved in a cross-cultural relationship, it’s crucial to enter as a learner rather than a fixer. I have witnessed the damage that entering in the relationship as a fixer can do. It ends up idolizing the messenger, and the message isn’t delivered effectively. It takes time to establish trust and get to know people. And one of the things that happens as you get to know people, and they begin to open up, is that you sometimes see brokenness and/or abuse in their marriages and families. When I have the privilege of walking with them and empowering them, I see the way God empowers me. It is a long process and it can be very challenging and draining, but as long as I keep my eyes and heart fixed on Jesus and I’m abiding in Him, His love, grace, and compassion overflows from me to them.

One last question, just for fun: I've heard you like to sing karaoke, what are some of your favorite songs to sing?

Anything by Adele or Taylor Swift. I don’t have the tone, but I do have the heart! I also love Lauren Daigle.

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