Sunday, November 15, 2015

Smog & Beautiful Strange Worship

Friday, November 13:  We just finished two great days here in this massive city. The smog/fog was really bad today. You could only see about a half mile this morning, and this afternoon when we came back to the hotel around 5pm you could look straight into the sun it was so hazy. We hit a massive traffic jam on the way back. There is a large political convention with tents stretching for acres and people arriving in trucks filled to the brim. Arlene and I both got a bit carsick from all the starting and stopping. It took almost an extra hour to get home.

The group of shepherds we met with were great. They were very educated and grasped our teaching quickly. The leader we are working with was a part time translator in the last group we taught. We had no idea how significant a man he is. He seems to run in the highest circles of both religious and political arenas. He recently organized a large “petition” meeting of believers that had 10,000 in attendance. Leaders of a couple of large “organizations” and some high up military and political men attended our meetings. The three of us teaching wondered why in the world we were included in such a prestigious group. The potential for organizing and teaching a large number in the city is great. 

As I sat in the morning taking in the atmosphere as the men worshipped, I was able more than usual to just close my eyes and enjoy the event. The music is odd to my ears and I don’t understand a word, but with my eyes closed, I just enjoyed the sound that I presumed God was enjoying. It makes me sad about all the worship wars in the US. Worship can really be strange to our ears and cultural sensitivities and still be beautiful to God. 

Edie and Arlene, our daughter, had a great time with the ladies. They were so serious and eager to learn and fun to be with. One mentioned that she had never heard anyone teach like Edie and hoped she could teach that way, too. We all had a good laugh as one of the men said he had heard many Americans and had never heard anyone teach like me. The problem was that I didn’t really teach much at all, just led a discussion about observation, the highlight of which was my helping them see the word “but” in the passage. I think in the end they see that we respect them and count them as equals and engage them with more than lectures, something it seems is rare for Americans.

On to a new city with new adventures tomorrow. One thing we can say, we do not lead a boring life. 

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