Monday, October 20, 2014

Thailand Update VI

   Finally, I have time to sit down and sent another update!!  The tests are now all over, all assignments are in, and my brain is once again thoroughly fried.  The classes were great and I learned a lot.  It feels good to sit down and think over the last three weeks.   There has been a lot that has happened so I won't go into detail but here some highlights!

Zoe, captivated by Brit's phone!!
 Last saturday, we went to a local touristy place call the Night Safari!!  It was actually pretty cool!!

Me: with my pet elephant!!

It was pretty much a zoo, with lots of big game animals like tigers, elephants, lions, snakes and bunch of smaller exotic, and not so exotic, animals.   They had a tiger show that was fun to watch.

The small lake that is in the middle with animals all the way around it!!!
They also had a really cool light show with fountains.  Mama, you would have loved it!!  I took some videos of it but can't post them here so you'll just have to wait till I get back!!

The tiger show!
We also went on a tram ride that took us through a bunch of pens that had animals in them!  The animals  (not the big game) could come right up to the tram!!  There were zebras, antelope,  giraffes and more!!  Most of the student body went so there was pretty large group of us there!!   

This term we had World Religions, Discovering Our God II, Acts and Kingdom Theology II.  Here are some excerpts from the classes!!

Mushroom display in a park in China!

Kingdom Theology II
     Often we think of the poor as those that don't have a lot of physical possessions or money etc..  In reality the poor are those that are living with four broken foundational relationships.  First, with God, from which flow the other three and all of life.  Second, with self, we are each uniquely created and we must realize this.  Third, with others, love your neighbor as yourself.  Lastly, with the rest of creation, we are to be stewards of what God has given us.   So, in order to help them we give them money, right?  Wrong.  When we give these people we really make the situation worse.  The four foundational relationships need to brought back into the right, and in that process healing with begin.  We need to walk with these people in brokenness to bring them back to God!!  Once these relationship begin to be mended then they learn that they really are someone and it gives them confidence to get and keep a job, and so begin their journey out of material poverty.  There is much more that is included in this but I don't have time or space to put it all here.  It you real learn more about it read, "When Helping Hurts" by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert.

Just a random picture from China!!  This one of the Universities!!
    In Acts 15 we find that the early church had a problem.  Some people were saying one thing and others were saying another.  In these days that would have caused a church split but what the apostles did was get other help.  The leaders in Antioch of Syria went to Jerusalem and met with the leaders there.  After much deliberation they came to a conclusion.  The church at Antioch was not ashamed to get "outside" help for what they were facing and they came to a peaceful conclusion!!   We so often try so hard to solve the problem with only those who are involve but because we are so close we cannot see the bigger picture.  This is not always the case but its good for us to be aware of it!!

Another China picture!
Discovering Our God II
    This was a difficult class for me in that the teacher uses big theological words that I need to look up in a dictionary and learn plus learn the idea's that he is presenting with those words.  It was a great class though.  I think I am making it sound worse than it really was.   I don't really have any one idea that really stood out to me.  We read the whole book from Ravi Zacharias, "Jesus Among Other Gods".  It was really good.  A good read for anyone who enjoys theology!! :)

World Religions
     We looked mainly at three religions, Hinduism, Islam and Buddhism, and compared them to Christianity.  This was very interesting to see the many differences.  We also dipped into New Age, Animism, and Jehovah's Witnesses.  The biggest difference between these religions and Christianity is that Christianity is the only "religion" (if you want to call it that) that God is moving towards His people!  All others the god simply is there and you must get to him on your own efforts!!

On Monday we have another day of solitude, that I am looking forward to, then Tues. is our mentoring day and we leave for Myanmar Tues, night!!

Added Monday Evening!!
  I had a great day of solitude.  Tomorrow we have mentoring day and will be spending the day with Zach, Wendall, Austin, Delmar and Val.  We are renting motor bikes and taking a trip around the mountain!!  I'll try to do a post on it sometime in the future!!

Ministry Trip 2nd Term
    I am going to Myanmar up into Sittwe and the surrounding area!  I am going with Peter, Barbara, April and Fonda.  Any questions please email me!!

....till next time....cookie