Sunday, May 19, 2013

How A Buddhist Becomes A Follower

Bhim’s uncle became a Christian because of a faithful witness of an Australian SIL worker in eastern Nepal.  On learning of his conversion this Buddhist family disowned the uncle and he was forbidden to remain living in their village.  After a period of time Bhim’s father would allow his brother to come into the village to visit, but only at night.  By morning the uncle had to be out of the village so that the family would not suffer.  It was on these night visits Bhim’s and his brother would listen to their uncle tell the Good News of Christ Jesus and His love for them and the salvation He provided at Calvary.  Both Bhrim and his brother became followers of Christ.

About the same time there was a Hindu girl, Kalpana, who through a friend was asked to attend a Christmas service.  Kalpana gave her life to Christ, though she was rejected by her family, even up-to-today.

Bhim and Kalpana met at a Bible college, fell in love and married.  Bhim and Kalpana now serve Christ in Kathmandu, starting several churches, a home for abandon children and a training center for pastors.

The story of how people come to know about Jesus is always fascinating.  Certainly through any outreach program God can use to bring people to Himself.  However, I have always believed that the most common way people come to Christ is through the network of family.  A faithful missionary, a courageous uncle, a friend to a Hindu girl is the path God often uses for His honor and glory.  Heaven will be an eternity of listening to the stories of grace.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Greetings: Learn the Rules

Did you know that one of the first things they teach new recruits in the Army is how to salute properly?   The first day I was in uniform, before they taught me how to march or shoot they taught me the proper way to address an officer.   What is it about leaders in business, politics and even celebrities that they don’t even know how to greet people?

The latest high profile offense was Bill Gates meeting the President Park of South Korea.  Slouched, with one hand in his pocket, the computer genius didn’t know how to show common courtesy or respect to the leader of his host country.  I guess if you’re one of the richest people in the world you feel like that humility is not what you display publicly but how much you give to charity your own charities. 

President Obama could use a few lesson on greetings as well.  Bowing is a sign of respect in Asian cultures, but bowing so low that you might skin your forehead is a bit much and inappropriate.

Teaching a business class in Russia several years back, I was illustrating the proper way to greet in Korea, right hand extended, left hand lightly touching your right arm.  In almost unison the class gasped, some yelling “no, no.”  Surprised I asked what was wrong at which time they told me I just made an obscene gesture.  Even a teacher in cross-cultural communication makes mistakes.

My definition of culture is, “The rules by which the game of life is played.”  Learn the rules and you can play the game…on their terms.  If a poor guy like me can make time to learn the rules on how to greet people, the rich and famous surely can hire someone to help them learn the rules before they stand on the world stage.