Friday, May 31, 2013

Where Ever I Am With You

We are far, far from home
But we are so happy!
Far from home, on our own,
But we are so happy!

I realized I owe y'all an update of some of my adventures from the last two and a half weeks. So here goes.

Tribhuvan International Airport is a strange place to fly out of as a woman. While the men are required to go through multiple levels of security on par with the strictest TSA standards, women breeze through a metal detector (shoes and belts intact), get a quick pat down, and a glance of a passport gets them on the plane. Not the safest, but convenient if you happen to be one of the fairer sex.

In Thailand, I got my first taste of a tropical monsoon. We arrived at night, and were able to get some Pad Thai in a food court that had exclusively Thai customers (except for our team of 9). The next morning, as we prepared to load the van that would take us to the Thailand/Cambodia border, a giant thunderstorm broke loose over the city. It was the hardest rain I'd ever seen in my life - at least, until I'd seen a storm in Cambodia.

Our days have been full, cleaning a mission school in the morning and teaching English in the afternoon. At night, we would go out into the town and do evangelism, but the flavor of the evangelism is much different from what we have done in the past.

In Cambodia, the police can and will shut down a religious meeting if it is too loud. You are not allowed to hold open air evangelist events, not allowed to go door-to-door, not allowed to perform dramas in public locations. Cambodia has embraced the idea of religious diversity, but to be Cambodian is to be Buddhist.

In Nepal, the tricky issue is to covince Hindus of Christ's exclusivity. Buddhists need to hear of the love of Christ. Hindus will more easily accept the concept of Christ's divinity, but Buddhists need a demonstration of commitment on the Christian's part. This is not to say that one technique fits all - rather, it had been a paradigm shift from our ministry in Nepal to one so heavily based in Buddhist philosophy.

On one of our trips into the central market area, I had the opportunity to try durian. For those of you not in the know, durian is a tropical fruit that Asians appear to be crazy for. It comes in the center of a sharp, spiky shell. The smell is quite distinctive, and can be smelled from long distances. It is not especially appetizing. Durian tastes like some mild tropical fruit. However, it is the consistency of cream cheese and
has the aftertaste of rotting fish or Vegemite.

I have to leave this internet cafe now, so I'll just awkwardly sign off and pretend it was graceful. Tomorrow we leave for villages, so it is possible my next post will be from Thailand. Or possible Australia.

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