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..."

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

varying degrees of transcultured, depending on time of day

august 17: wednesday: day 8 (part 1)
i woke up, having fallen asleep the night before a very happy man.

i had had a really great talk with al about vision and future and retirement in the service of God and missions involvement etc, and then had returned to my room where i lay on my bed flipping through pictures on the camera and smiling with an incredible love for the many new face that had become familiar friends.

a group of students waiting for the bus at kabool lanka

i was still struggling with unlove for the spiritual and social blindness that so often grips the west, and i would continue to do so until the flight home when God spoke to me somewhere between london and toronto... God challenged:

you must not bite the hand that feeds you
the west lovingly sent you out
and so to the west you are to lovingly return

okay. when God speaks to you on a plane, you make sure you listen, lest he resort to more drastic measures to get your attention!
(that is, of course, a joke steeped in really bad theology)

i didn't feel very well during morning prayer- weak and nauseous- and resolved to lay off of sri lankan food a bit for a day. i had been eating/sampling everything and was thoroughly enjoying the exotic new tastes and textures. however, a really good cup of ceylon tea seemed to cure whatever was ailing me. (later i discovered it was the malaria meds that were making me swoon)

the tea here is worthy of its reputation, rich and dark and deeply satisfying.

interesting clash of values: i was talking with lazarus about repairing the machine head of his guitar- you couldn't tune the low E because the knob is broken right off- but he made it clear that this was not needed.

what was needed? an amplifier.

i told this to dan, who replied that a few more chords wouldn't hurt either.

in the morning session a lively discussion ensued as these pastors engaged in business matters. a part-time pastor in sri lanka who holds another job is not recognized as a pastor by some 'organizations' (sri lankan euphemism for 'denominations')...

kinda rules me out- and considering that mohamed's taxi is literally rescuing people from a Godless eternity, i feel that the position of said organizations is pure bollocks.

there are certain inescapable economic realities here, and the poorest of people are being reached by 'part-time' pastors (as if a pastor could ever be 'part-time' and true to his or her call anyway)... how much are these people going to be able to financially support a full-time pastor? it takes many widows for the mites to be sufficient... do we damn the poor in order to focus on more 'lucrative' investments of our time? of course not; an unhealthy interest in mammon and 'success' and all that ultimately sends us down an all-consuming corridor of darkness- not into the 'light' of economic stability. God will not bless selfishness; God opposes the haughty and the proud.

i was invited by mohamed- not looking terribly well- to go to jennifer's house church (the girl whom we had baptized on the previous sunday) sometime in the coming weekend. i hoped i'd be back from batticaloa in time to do this.

i was thinking a lot about dances with wolves (even my handwritten journal bears some similarity to the packaging of the special edition) and john dunbar's transformation as he discovers a greater affinity with a culture other than his own. as his love grows for the sioux people and their ways, he becomes transcultured.

and i wondered if this was happening to me, and if so, what might it lead to if given over to God completely?
odd and pointless little tangent: my great great grandmother was full blooded sioux.
'where my people lay buried- there is my land' (crazy horse)


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