It’s been quite awhile since I’ve written . . . and I suspect it has to do with the reality that this trip has been difficult for me. I came to the Philippines thinking I was going to be drilling lots of (Water For All style) hand-dug wells for “the poorest of the poor.” The reality is that these dear people really don’t need me! I had (and probably still have) a skewed perspective on poverty, what “help” truly looks like – and what my role should be. I thought I had answers; now I have more questions. I thought I knew what “helping” looked like; but I didn’t and came to realize that I was the one who needed the help! I thought I had a handle on poverty; until I realized that I was the one suffering from it!
So, I’ve spent the last 4 months asking God to give me a job. Give me something that will make me feel useful! Give me a place where I could invest this “giant storehouse of Christian wisdom” I’ve acquired over my 50 years of walking with Him! And then He showed me that He doesn’t need me either. I only need Him. The wonderful people here only need Him. And because of my arrogance and self-centeredness, I spent rather than invested these 4 months.
But I did read. Lots of books. Some purely to escape — but some also to grow. The one below is kind of “breaking my head.” I can’t quite get my arms around it. It’s the story of 3 house church leaders in China, to whom God gave the vision of reaching people in the 10/40 window, currently enslaved by Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. Their story is nothing short of breathtaking and miraculous – and dangerous – and inspiring – and challenging.
This is a terribly difficult read. And yet, I can’t recomm end it highly enough. If you’re a Christian who really wants to follow Jesus in your daily life – and you believe the experiences of Christians in other parts of the world can inform your own experience, you really need to read this book. If you click on the image to the left, it will take you to the Amazon page from which you can buy the book.
It exposes all the deficiencies of the Church I’ve grown up in – while simply telling the stories of what the Church in China has looked like for the past 80+ years. And these descriptions will blow your mind!
So far (I’m about halfway through the book) there hasn’t been any overt criticism of the Western Church. But as I read, I can’t help but feel flawed in my faith. I want to explore how my own faith might be ignited in the ways I’m reading about!
I think this needs to be a topic for discussion that doesn’t end with the reading of this blog page. It’s a discussion I want to keep going once we’re back in HB.
I’m hoping you want to join me and chew this one through. It’s literally life-and-death material. I’m on my last lap in this life; I want to invest it . . . and not simply spend it. Care to join me?