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..."

Friday, August 19, 2005

salt and light

august 19: friday: day 10 (part 1)

the next morning found me feeling still very reflective, remembering kumarasiri's request for prayers of protection from the 'police monks' who have already been in his face bigtime; remembering mohamed taking lazarus' wife and daughters back to colombo in his 3-out-of-4-speed 'auto' while still fighting off a major fever; remembering isac- the only sri lankan other than lazarus to regularly smile for pictures- giddiness; remembering jay's dark face, his bright red shirt and his invitation to come speak at his church in the hill country the following summer; remembering how these people glow with a simple yet profound light when speaking of or singing to Jesus...

in many ways it feels like i am being sent from sri lanka to the west to bring this light to my own country, not the other way round. this is the way i must see things or i grow anxious thinking of 'church in canada' and all that goes with it.

i long for my own family to experience this, and dare to imagine one or both of my sons choosing to serve Jesus in this place. yet, i know that canada is alos in desperate need of a few good men.

every morning, ben was up at 4:30 reading his bible and praying. even as i came upon him in the dining commons on that last day of meetings in kabool lanka, the bible was open.

that's the key, isn't it? being that everything happening was happening at the ground floor of the building God was erecting here, it was really important to regulate everything in the interest of a healthy movement in the future.

the one thing that was jeopardizing (or at least slowing down) the progress of this movement was not the tsunami... it was mammon.

this is a god that divides even men of God from each other, compromising relationships and character, eclipsing God's sun with a lifeless but more immediate moon.

while we were readying ourselves for a lengthy trip into kandy, we were largely unaware of the reason that ben was, on this day, so earnestly seeking strength and direction from scripture. there was a meeting that was to take place in the morning prior to the coming together of the b.o.a. (board of administration) involving a couple of pastors- in fact a pastor and his associate- that were experiencing relational difficulty.

driving throughout the morning and then visiting the spectacular gardens at kandy, we would have no idea until later on of the difficulty that had been consuming these men's joy. however, by the time we arrived back at kabool lanka that evening, the issues had been resolved and the b.o.a. had in fact been able to meet- although they had met in the afternoon as the salt of the matthew 18 process had taken all morning to work into their wounds... the point is, however, not how long it took but how it healed.

in the end there was newly restored trust between two colleagues, and that which had been used by hell to splinter their relationship had instead united them and strengthened their resolve. instead of david and absalom, these men got back to being paul and silas.


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