Today we visited and learnt some more of the history of Hopestill Pillow and Mother Teresa. I feel so inspired by there stories of trusting and following God’s call on their lives to help the poor.
I spent first 3 days in india not eating and sleeping most of the time I didn’t see much of India in those days but it did give me time to think.
Particularly about being sick and what’s the difference between a sick and healthy church. While I was well for first week I was able to learn so much and was open to the world around me. I could help others and others could help me. There was so much going on and I could just be a part of it eyes wide open.
However when I became sick I became dormant eyes shut closed off from the world around me. This did not change the fact that everything was still going on outside my front door. But as I was sick I could take no part I was of no help to others and just needed to be left alone.
I feel like we need to always be careful to remain a healthy church through prayer, following Jesus and the Bible so that our eyes can stay open to the world around us so the we can properly engage with our comunities.
Ramblings of a sick man
I have received more than i feel i could ever give here on this trip already. I feel overwhelmed as we have been showered with gifts of sheets flowers table clothes all beautiful. And on top of that we have stayed and eaten banquets more food than I have ever eaten before and yet they refuse payment of compensation.
Yesterday we had such a large breakfast and lunch that even I could not eat dinner. The generosity from people to give such much when on the surface they have so little by comparison to us. However it has come clear to me these people i have meet have something I dont an more true understanding of what it means to have the gift of christ something I am only just starting to better understand.
At a church service two nights ago we where seated up the front facing congregation slightly embaracing. We were then welcomed and had songs sung to us given gifts and flowers and had dances and flowers thrown all over us as if we were some kind of royalty.
I can’t help but wonder what we would do if these people came to our church maybe we would let someone speak and have a potluck lunch then everyone would go home here this is not the case everyone wanted to stay and talk with us having already shared dinner fellowship, church and worship. Sure some maybe be cultural differences but I feel it goes further than this.
In the same way christ the son of God died for us unconditionally I have found people here are able to emulate far better an aspect of this unconditional love for people that I have not seen to the same extent in New Zealand. I put myself in this basket but for a country and church that has so much we truly do give so little compared to what christ gave to us.
So i challenge us all to think what I truly means to be a disciple of Jesus in the context of individually as our local church and also as the church as a whole. And take more seriously the phrase of what would Jesus do.
Over the last two days we have been to a snake charmer village near dhaka and on a train to bramanbaria.
The purpose was to see the snakes and look at the landscape on the train. I suppose these could be called the tourist parts of our trip.
Rather than being the tourists however myself and others in the group became the attractions. We stuck out more than the snakes, crowds of people ran to look and talk to the “aliens”.
It is really quite humbling to realize just how strange i am to these people. It is like when someone famous comes to New Zealand. I have been the object of 1000s of stares plenty of photos incuding many selfies oh i did i mention the constant hand shakes and touching of my arms body and legs.
It is through experiences like these that i try to come to terms with something i was told recently. That when preparing for mission it is not about what you can give but rather what you can receive. I wonder whether going forward our church could grasp this concept not giving ourselves to the comunities but rather in a christ like way with open arms receiving the community all around us both locally and worldwide.
I wonder whether maybe it is easyer to give as the choice is ours but to be able to receive relies on others and faith. Hope these ramblings make sense.
After the first couple of days we have already seen and heard so many great story’s of redemption and triumph in the face of what at times to me seems enormous obstacles. What is made clear to me though is how much more can be done and how fortunate we are. I would like to challenge our church to look upon our history which has helped so many lives be transformed over the past 150 years even on the other side of the world as a challenge to see how much more we can do going forward. The scope for business for mission is huge and better yet it really works through providing education work accommodation in christ like ways lives are truly being redeemed and transformed. Therefore I challenge us to be smarter and think bigger what if we built a hub for stores selling market places clothes and coffee and other products and expanded to sell to stores all around new zealand and the world. Rich are getting rich through big multinational business. What if we really thought big and we’re able to be a game changer and allow the money to flow to those who actually work for it. I really do feel the scope exists to do some quite significant work within our church to grow the great work that is already happening in business for mission and take a leap of faith and be christ like and actively transforming lives. But hey I’m probably a little insane