Today we visited the Christian College of Theology Bangladesh, and I preached for the first time with an interpreter (the Principal of the college). It felt a bit stop-and-go, and took double the time, but a nice thing to have done.
In Simon’s post below he described the first business we visited in Dhaka.
I had heard about this business called Dimensions, I had also seen photos. I had also heard about the philosophy around establishing this kind of business. Until visiting and spending the afternoon here, I hadn’t realised the significance or breath of community development occurring through and because of this business that was set up in 1995 by a few New Zealanders.
I was drawn into the actual products and work done, espshally the electronics stuff – the picture shows two guys assembling circuit boards for the solar power system they’ve designed and sell – who doesn’t get excited by printed circuit boards?! (It seemed in the group of us from christchurch that I was the only one excited about them, but to be fair, I was the only ex Printed Circuit Board Designer in our group).
While the products are awesome, and this is a growing business making a profit. It was the wholistic and obviously transformative community development occurring amount the approx 25 staff and their families that made me realise there is something inspirational going on here at Dimensions.
Alongside skills training, education and employment, there are ethics, nurture and family. And there are elements of faith community evident that the NZ church could learn from, such as an integration of life and faith rather than a seemingly separation and disconnect often expressed when a wholistic faith through community is not actively sought. (I might write more about this after the trip once I’ve reflected on it more).
Today our passports arrived back from the High Commission for Bangladesh in Canberra, with visas letting us in to Bangladesh. It’s quite good these arrived back in Christchurch today as Bradley and Priscilla are leaving tomorrow – a week ahead of the rest of us as they check out Singapour on the way. We also have visas for India sorted.
Between 18 November and 3 December 2014, nine people from Oxford Terrace Baptist Church are heading to India and Bangladesh. We’ll try to use this blog as a way of letting people know what we’re up to during the trip, how we’re feeling, etc. It’ll be set up so all nine of us can log in and write whatever we like, and upload photos – or not – lets see how this goes!