May 30, 2008
We arrived yesterday and are leaving tomorrow morning for Cochin. Most of today we spent touring ancient Hindu statues and monuments. I would love to share more, but the internet here is extremely slow so I need to go...to the beach!
May 27, 2008
The best part of today was meeting a Muslim Christ follower who is working for among the Muslim middle class for house church planting. Please pray for Shake.
Tomorrow we fly out to Chennai, then the next day we get on a train to Cochin. I'm really excited to Cochin, the seat of a successful socialist/communist state in India. Also, this is the purported place of Thomist Christianity in India. India Christianity has the possibility of being as old as the Apostle Thomas, yes doubting Thomas from the Bible.
Continue to pray for Jeff's foot, it is rather swollen.
May 26, 2008
May 25, 2008
Notables in Hyderabad:
- Mango Season! Fresh mangos as well as bananas have been really, really good.
- Beggars- I'm still not sure what I have to offer or what the proper response should be, the situation is complex
- Theology is messy on the ground. With a growing middle class in Hyderabad because of the developing IT market, the church we attended this morning was very, very Western. It was like they were taking Bill Hybels and directly applying that methodology here.
- Please pray for me, I got a sinus headache today which almost put me out of commission. I hope that doesn't occur very often.
- We met and had lunch and tea with a wonderful Indian Christian family that ministers to a certain people group. It was great to spend time with them and see how this culture talks about Jesus and what God does in their lives. Pray for Lazarus (Sing Saey) and his wife and family.
- Traffic here is unbelievable and crazy. Where there is a void, a car, person, taxi, motorcycle or goat fills the gap. Plus, we've had some crazy drivers.
- Tomorrow we are going to work at an AIDS clinic all day.
- We've eaten India food as well as pastries from a bakery, KFC, Pizza Hut, and lots of water. So far no one has gotten sick, except for my headache. The India food is good, I like the different dishes and spices. Yogurt is my best friend, because you mixed it in with the spicy food and it helps control the temp in your mouth as well as your stomach.
May 23, 2008
May 22, 2008
Yesterday after our 14 hour flight we landed in Hng Kong at 630 am, and spend literally the entire day marching throughout the city. My first impressions of Hong Kong was that it was beautiful, green, and very Western. The islands is tropical with low mountains, thus making for beautiful backdrops to the seemingly endless skyscrapers. Our second day in Hong Kong, we again marched throughout the city on the infamous Dr. Stroope March. Even though I'm still jet lagged, I'm feeling really good. THe trip has been and is getting better the more I'm getting to know my team mates and get back to normal.
- The Hong Kong subway is very efficient, very.
- I could like in this city.
- The city has lots of color and is tropical.
- We visited a Buddhist garden and Temple where we saw people practice Taoist rituals.
- I'm asking questions about myself personally, what I believe and what are my passions.
- It is interesting to take the many conversations and ideals that have evolved in seminary and see how the reality of life and the world makes distinctions, classifications, and high ideals so messy.
- I like my team...so far!
Tomorrow we will be in the city until 10 pm then we fly out to India. We fly into Delhi then go straight for Hyderabad. I present on Hyderabad tomorrow. Dr. Stroope said that things change after about two weeks into the trip. I'm both looking forward but anxious about this time. I wonder what it will look like when all of our personalities are more open and are being made vulnerable.
May 18, 2008
A few notables from today's (our last day) from the forum:
- We were lead in "contextual" Indian style worship by Arandha, an incredibly talented group, Berkley trained, and yes the lead man plays the guitar.
- Dr. Stroope gave a paper today on the identity of the outsider. It was really good. The insider (the local, indigenous people) need to be local, and outsider's must recognize that they can never be an insider because of enculturation. Thus, instead of vocation we must focus on formation. Not what do I do, but who am I becoming.
- EGG story! Today for breakfast I went downstairs for the continental breakfast at the Inn. In the fridge there were hard boiled eggs, which sounded good. So I pulled one out and thought there is no way I'm eating a cold, hard boiled egg. Along with my pancake, sausage dog I placed the egg in the microwave. After about 30 seconds, I pulled out the egg and pancake dog and took about 4 steps toward my table, then BOOM! Apparently hard boiled eggs, and there was no shell mind you, do not go into the microwave. The thing exploded everything: the wall, the window, curtains, floor, the side of Jeff's face, Sarah and Mary Beth's hair, and ALL over me. My face, beard, shirt were covered in egg and everyone was looking at me. What do you do when a room full of strangers are staring at you. All I could get was, "I'm okay!" while covered in eggs. It was great!
- Tomorrow, we fly out and it'll take a while to get where we're going. So along the way, there will be plenty of time for conversation and being together in a group.
May 17, 2008
Today begins one of the longest periods my wife Charlotte and I have ever spent apart. A few weeks ago we moved into our new apartment into a new city. The last two weeks have been rather crazy, getting reading to go, packing, finishing the semester, etc.
May 16, 2008
Tomorrow we fly out at 8:00am to Minneapolis for a Rethinking Forum on Mission to Hindu's until Sunday. Then we fly to Hong Kong for a few days to get out feet underneath us. When we're used to the time change, we'll fly to Delhi and start our time in India where we'll be for the majority of our time.
I plan on updating on this blog to let all my faithful readers, all two of you, to know where I'm at, what, we're doing, and all that good stuff. So, check back every once in a while. I'm not sure how often I'll update, but hopefully more often then not.
May 14, 2008
Total of 37 days, mostly in India:
- 1 Gregory Palisade 80 Backpack
- 3 T-Shirts- 1 Exofficio & 2 cotton/poly blends
- 3 Pants- 1 Convertibles, 1 Cargo, 1 Linen & Cotton blend
- 4 underwear- 2 exofficio, 2 cotton
- 3 pair socks- ankle hiking
- 1 pair Chaco's
- 1 Pair of running shoes
- 1 Marmot Light Jackot
- 2 Shorts- 1 swimming, 1 athletic, 1 pair normal shorts (possibly)
- 1 Polo
- 1 hat
- 1 MSR Towel
- 3 Books, 2 Journals- Bible, Kierkegarrd's Fear & Trembling (to read & give away), Peterson's Christ Plays in 10,000 Places, 1 Travel Journal, 1 non-ruled journal
- 1 Under clothes passport & money holder
- 1 pair of Pepper's sunglasses
- 1 Watch
- 1 Dry Sack- for dirty clothes, 1 compression sack
- 1 Nokia NV10 Camera, 3 batteries, 2 1 gig cars, charger, adapter & case
- Lots of pills, med's, toiletries, baby wipes, TP, glasses & contacts, bug spray, ear plugs
- Misc papers for insurance, check card, flight receipts, etc
- Most importantly- MYSELF, packed & ready to go!
May 1, 2008
I'm sitting here in my last class ever in seminary. Although I don't graduate until December and still have mentoring for the Fall, this will be my last semester of class. Yes, I'm really excited about continuing on this journey and of course I'm excited that I have a job and a place to live. I have to admit though, that I will miss this place a lot, as well as the academic setting.
This time in seminary has been really good, but also really hard. I 've experienced everyday the deconstruction process, while being pushed toward healthy reconstruction. I had someone ask me today would I do seminary again and I said, "Yes, absolutely!" I'm not certain I'm in the place I wanted to be in leaving school, but maybe that's best. I don't have answers, but lots of questions and I'm okay with that. I'm just not sure how that will pan out in a concrete, church setting where everyone is looking for answers.
In my last class today, we read a story that almost providentially tells my story: the Blind Men and the Elephant. I thought this story was the perfect way to end my seminary experience and begin the next chapter in life. As I'm preparing to leave and enter the "real" world, I'm still struggling how to structure and talk about what I believe and have experienced. How do I talk about being a Christian in Austin?