We haven’t had internet for a while. now we have it, but don’t have much time. Very soon the Kenyan is taking the computer away from me…and then we’re going to see a huge Bollywood film….got to go…on wait…not the Kenyan…some kind of office worker. He was a little surprised to see us.
Yesterday we had a very good day at church and doing a little shopping. That was good because it is more directly related to my function. oh now here comes the Kenyan…I got to go.
Today maxed out my senses. When you start thinking roaming cows and water buffalo are common place and should be sleeping in the middle of the road you know, you’re maxed out.
We just got back from visiting a town called something I can’t spell. It is a village of Dalits, the lowest cast in India. They are the untouchables. We luckily didn’t have to deal with any of that because they were normal children to us. It was funny, when we first got there, they were all kind of scared. One girl broke out crying. Apparently the last visitors to come to come to their school were doctors who gave them all shots. It didn’t take long for them to warm up to us though. We had candy, bubbles, a parachute game, dinosaurs, stickers, and balloons.
There were some young teenagers who came around to se what was up. I talked with them mostly, though we really didn’t do much talking. I was able to answer about 2 of their questions (what is your name? and where are you from?) They were able to tell me their names and it took a while, but they were able to tell me their ages. One of them had a football, which I impressed them with my skillz. We also kind of played hit the globe-beach ball in the air until it landed in some unidentifiable, muddy water.
Some Dalit children won’t even let you get near them because they have been told their whole lives that they are untouchable. Thankfully these kids know love from above and not lies. The man who serves at the school came all the way from across India and lives in at the school. He wants to add a grade every year until they have K-12. I can only imagine how difficult that will be. Where will he find the people with a heart that burns so passionately for these people to move 2 hours away from a “big” city to teach. How will they pay the teachers? Or get the school books? It is a real challenge.
One way is to give the people work. We visited some weavers on this trip. I’ve seen weaving by hand before, but it is always impressive. We even saw a power weaver, which was new to this area. At the house with the power weaver, the wife showed us some of her work, which was very nice. A couple of people from our team bought stuff. I also showed Jennifer how to fold a shirt super quick. I think I blew her socks off. Cuz she told David and his socks were blown off. Then I showed all the women and their socks were blown off. Me and David were the only ones actually wearing socks, but you get the idea.
We ate lunch at a Bro’s house. He is one of the few in this village. It was so good. You would think eating lunch on the cement floor of a humble house would be something you’d want to end quickly. Oh contraire. It was delish. Egg curry with rice and potato pea goodness. And a taco shell like thing. It was so flavorful. We walked around the village and visited several houses. We sang with them and yarped with them and tried to encourage them. Everyone was very nice to us.
India, how’d you get to be like this? I’ve got some suggestions for you.
We spent the night in the Orchid hotel when we arrived in Mumbai. It was very nice. The Texas team wanted to stay close to the airport since we got in at 2am and our flight to Bhuj left at 1pm. As you can see from the picture, it was better than what we saw on many family road trips.
You know the old joke about the pool being on the roof and freshmen need to buy a special pass to get access? Well, that’s where the pool was at the Orchid. So I took a look.
This was an actual Indian. No actually it was a giant boxing dummy. It gave you the “thumbs up” when you punched it hard enough to drop his jaw.
Secret, the women’s deodorant did some test marketing here in Mumbai. It was apparently a combination of the “strong enough for a man” campaign and “sure” campaign.
From the roof of the Orchid where they have opulent statues and cool blue water with old British people swimming, you could see both sides of the spectrum.
We flew to Bhuj (pronounced similar to booze), a small military airport where we met with our peeps and tied our junk to the thing. I have to admit…I had my doubts about the tall bag on the right staying on. I tried to put my suitcase in the inside, but I got waylaid by a “helper” who lifted it to the roof for me.
We all had to wait for the train to pass. So I unashamedly took these guys picture. Then I waved so to seem friendly.
This is what the Dallas team came for. They are celebrating their years of work with the Kutch people. We helped set up a little…most of these chairs filled up.
All the gringos ran out side cuz we heard a cow was giving birth. I guess that is when an old guy dies or another god is born or something. So, we all wanted to get pictures of the divine deluge. We weren’t in time though, the wondering deity moseyed off…so we watched this batter play cricket with some boys half his size.
The conference has been really cool to see all the people excited about a common task. It is hard to comprehend that these people are setting out to do something no one has ever done. Equally as fascinating is the fact that there are thousands of these situations that need people to attempt.
Last night I had two strange dreams. I will be interested to see if I have more tonight.
This is my last night in the country. Tomorrow we’re working the conference then jumping on the plane to India. It will be a very long trip.
I love my fiancee.
Here are my notes from the conference so far:
If you just spent time with God, your problems would either go away or seem insignificant.
3 dominant influences on the church in America (not bad things, except Darwin)
1. Free market economy (commercialization)
2. The enlightenment / Age of reason / Darwinism
3. The Bible
When the people were illiterate, the buildings told the story (built in the shape of a cross).
The age of reason summarizes down to truth and thus the churches started looking like classrooms.
During the industrial revolution and Emerson motivated workers to join the corporate family, churches morphed into conference centers. They “helped you be profitable for the Kingdom”. Yet, in business, if you aren’t profitable you are fired.
Now, our culture is focused on entertainment, and thus our churches look like theaters.
Now, sales tries to convince you that you are unhappy and that buying their thingy, you’ll become happy and people will like you. So, if our presentation of the Gospel looks like a commercial, where Jesus will make unhappy people happy, they will be let down just like every product will let you down.
The main thing I pulled away from Kimbell’s message was a strong conviction of how thoroughly I have built a Christian bubble around my life. So many non-Christians say they don’t know any Christians and I am doing very little to change that.
For 1800 there was no debate in the Church about the authenticity of the Bible. One hundred and thirty ago some guy questioned whether or not two authors wrote Deuteronomy. That led to higher criticism of the Bible which led to liberal theology. So, liberal churches pulled away from the Gospel, but liked the social teachings of Jesus. They thought social responsibility and no Gospel. The conservative church reacted and preached all Gospel and no social responsibility. And thus the Gospel was divorced from the socially responsible teachings in the Bible (2000 verses).
Feeling bad about the situation the poor are in is not compassion. It is not compassion until you feel bad enough to do something about it.
Why did God destroy Sodom? –> Ezekiel 16:49 (very, very jaw-dropping)
The individuality of American culture has turned the Bible into a self help book, instead of a call to selflessly serve the poor.
This is a great picture because the girls did all the work setting up the booth, but I set my camera up with a 10 second delay and then ran into the frame to look like I was working when Debbie (the ghostly blur) says to me, “oh we don’t need that” referring to the thing I was acting like I was working with, and Jennifer laughing at me posing.
This church is big. I mean Arthur Dent sorta got it by the end about how big space is, This church fills up most of that space. This is where the thing we’re doing is. That descriptive description leads me perfectly into my joke….The church had a millions of handicapped parking spaces and it’s an Assembly’s of God church. So I was like, they must not believe in healing at this church to have so many handicapped spaces.
The Connection Cafe where the young adults come to…connect to us.
The church had a laser tag arena on the campus where Donald Miller spoke. He spoke very well and challenged me regarding my personal devotion to God. I’ll have to put my notes up another time.
(It wasn’t really a laser tag place, but doesn’t it look like it could be?)
The last speaker looked like John Travolta. He spoke of the many young people who like Jesus, but hate the church.
- I had the responsibility of moving the toilet paper roll thing to a new roll. There were four total and two of them, including the one currently exposed, were empty. So I moved the thing that made the fresh one come down.
- I acted like a little kid and tried to race up the stairs in front of everyone and tripped up and stumbled to the top…amazingly still making it first.
- I thought many times how much I would have loved it if Millie could have been here with us.
It was kind of chilly today around 50F and I think it will be colder tomorrow.
The bed I slept in at the nice couple’s house took up about 45% of the room. It was normal as far as length and width, but the height, whooowee, it was maybe three feet tall. So when I say 45% of the room, I mean 45% of the total room’s volume. I was afraid I’d sit up in the middle of the night and get one of the fan blades lodged in my skull.
I’ve spent the whole day at The Office working on paper work, meeting people and completing my first expense report. They gave me the green light (you would think an international organization would have a cooler word for it)…lets say varuush…They gave me the varuush to begin working which is I’m agreeable to, because that means I get to put money more money under my mattress and maybe get the lumbar support I need.
Jennifer comes in about 30 minutes. She’s real fun, so I’m looking forward to her arrival. Maybe, now that I’m here, I can give Jennifer the varuush.
Thoughts for today:
– maybe I should get a travel keyboard for my palm, so it’d be easier to keep a journal during the trip.
– maybe I should get a way to power my palm on the trip
– I need to get a deck of cards to teach the Indian children Texas Hold’em and the 2 days we’ll be in the sky.
– I hope I don’t hit my head on the fan blades.
– I can’t believe they have Taco Cabana here! (this was a big thought in my mind around lunch)
It is 1 am and the plane leaves at noon. I don’t have a suit case yet but I think I know what I’ll put in one. I fly to Orlando for a conf. then to India, then to C. Asia, then back home on March 10th. Stay tuned for more updates as they come.