Tuesday, June 28, 2005

India report #1

So its the morning of our 3rd day in India and I'm still jet lagging pretty bad. I did sleep through the night last night thanks to a couple pills of Benadryl. I have a decently comfy living situation, my own room in an appartment, queen bed, clean bathroom and ceiling fan, God is good.
My daughter is showing no signs of culture shock. She has taken everything right in stride. She is teaching pre-K with my Mom in the mornings and enjoys the responsibilities. Thank you to the Minniears for the gifted gameboy, Tetris was our savior on the long flights and has occupied Ali's downtime here in India. That was an outstanding idea!!
Please keep me in prayer as I am teaching 25 times in the next 5 days, not including the weekend trek I'm taking this weekend. I did not know anything that I was teaching until I came, so I'm having to prep. it all on the fly which is not my forte. The perfectionist in me feels unprepared so its a complete reliance on the Holy Spirit. Most of the teaching is Seminary classes and chapels, 40-45 minute talks which I'm pretty out of practice on. With no interaction or discussions, I feel like a fish out of water. I'm trying to find topics that I'm passionate about and would translate well here. We'll see how I do. On Thursday at chapel I'm going to speak on "finding God in the ordinary" and see how that flies.
The biggest culture shock for me is not India but being in a conservative Christian culture. The dress code is relaxed, so that's good, only a tie on Sunday for me and I totally dig the sandal deal. But the seminary is a strongly dispensational, pre-millenial theological school which is my upbringing but a mindset that I have left way behind. It is dominated by teaching theology, and lacks focus on Spirit and relationship. So I will try and bring those elements in a way that they can embrace. At face value, some of the leaders don't take me seriously because I don't pastor a large American church and the name of my church is "Ordinary Community", doesn't exactly fit their value system. So I'm having to incarnate my views of the Kingdom in this mindset, which is a challenge and leaves me feeling like I can't be myself.
I am having great conversations with younger leaders in the seminary though regarding America, consumer church, gospel as industry, church and politics, sexuality and teaching in the church and the role of suffering. Those evening time round table conversations are what I enjoy most. Keep me in prayer, I miss my community very much and long to be back with you.

peace of Christ unto your day and the challenges you may face,


No comments: