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Our text describes “culture” as “the sum… of common
things that bind people together in a society.” It describes the way one
“values” as having weight, figuratively or physically. It also defines “values”
as ones closest held beliefs, worth both living for and even dying for
(Babcock, p. 1-2).

I was a sophomore in college when I decided to take a
year off from the community college I attended to do an Internship at the
International House of Prayer in Kansas City. It was an experience of growth
for me and it shaped my values, connecting me to issues like human trafficking
and adoption in very passionate ways. I entered a culture of close-knit
community, of speaking into each other’s lives and encouraging each other to
reach out and take risks for big dreams that God had places in our hearts.

When I returned home to the church I’d grown up in, the
culture-shock I experienced was difficult to deal with. I felt alone, not just
because of environment but even the language my internship had used was so
different from my local church I felt I had to heavily filter or translate. The
focus on missions, adoption, prayer, and many other subjects was so radically
different that I found myself depressed, craving the energy and passion of the
Prayer House culture back.

It was years before I returned to Kansas City, and when I
did the culture was not as I remembered it. Culture within an internship is
much different than that experienced by one who attends services and is within
general community. There is also something to be said for personal perceptions
and the ways which our perceived values create an internal culture that, if
left to itself, my become something reality will only disappoint.

(Word count: 300)

Michael A.The Story of
Western Culture
. 2nd ed. Lynchburg: Gallus Academic Publishing, 2014. ISBN:

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