poitu varam

THE CHRONICLES OF A FLEDGLING MISSIONARY CALLED JOLLYBEGGAR "i still gaze fondly at all of the pictures, drink ginger beer, bunch my food, listen to punjabi dj tunes, play my dholki, wear my sarong (around the house only because in canada it is still really uncommon for a man to wear a wraparound skirt in public) and speak way too much of the differences between east and west..."

Saturday, August 20, 2005

pastoral ministry in 3D

august 20: saturday: day 11 (part 3)
at robert's church, the worship time was great- jesuthas and his younger brother alternated between playing bongos and tambourines; he and his sister traded off in the leading of the worship singing. a friend played guitar with a delay effect that was a bit distracting for me, but understandably 'contemporary' for the group there assembled. the worship leaders faced the front rather than facing the crowd- cool.

there was much sharing of personal faith experiences, particularly the epiphanies that were still registering as a result of the tsunami in december. there were stories of new personal visions and callings, healings and celebrations of the grace of God amidst life as experienced in tsunami-affected batticaloa.

there was nowhere near the same spiritual battling going on as the week prior in colombo... more accurately, it appeared as though the spiritual battles taking place here were manifesting themselves in different ways. in a different place, on different terrain within different circumstances, different strategies are employed. the people had been hit with such an incredible natural disaster in the tsunami that it was as if God had put out his hand and said:

okay, only the following demons can go through: disease, despair and discouragement. that's it. the rest of you are going to have to busy yourselves with something else for awhile.

this was, of course, simply my observation.

whatever the case, joining together with some twenty-five other believers in the same room that had, just a couple hours earlier, housed our wonderful meal and fellowship time with robert and his family was a rich experience.

afterwards we enjoyed some humble tea and delicious bananas before heading to the hotel.

jesuthas presented me with a plaque from the front of their church, bearing exodus 33.14 in tamil. i gave him the hemp necklace (made by my son poet) that he had admired earlier in the week at kabool lanka. in truth, i had planned on giving it to him on this day anyway, i just needed to find an expressed reason to do so.

we spoke of many things, including music. it was quite interesting to me to note the many instruments that jesuthas played. heart-breaking was his remark 'i used to play keyboard as well until tsunami took my keyboard away.'

there were many more warm poitu varam's and at least one canadian in the van played tap-the-window games with the children outside and swore to himself that he would be back.

on the way to our hotel, we stopped but no one was really hungry so we just picked up a sri lankan dough-nut and burrito to go...

i didn't like the burrito thing, so i gave half of it to the kid manning the hotel (who didn't seem to mind, but didn't seem too interested either.)
the room, nowhere near as horrid as i had feared from the stories i had heard at the travel doctor before leaving canada, was clean but simple- like a dorm at camp. al and i sat up talking about leadership stuff until about to fall asleep... so it even felt like camp except without the bugs! there was one lone mosquito which i killed early on in the evening, making the room safe for those of us who were fearfully and faithfully taking our malaria meds.

al spoke of how the guys' cell phones were driving him nuts.


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