This week I have been in Chiangmai at the OMF base for the Mekong Region. It is my first venture in my job with Langham Preaching, working to help pastors with their biblical preaching.
As I have moved around this Mekong Center I have encountered plaques and pictures (under photos of heavily whiskered men, it must be said!) that speak of a strange spirituality. It is a spirituality about which I am unaccustomed to hearing in the conversation of Christians back home in New Zealand.
In a world where I spend much time with people talking about the absence of God in their lives on the one hand OR the presence of their own career plans on the other, I encountered this unassuming plaque by the front door:
In a world where we dare not act until we have researched carefully and strategised fully because this is what opens the door to the resources we need to achieve our mission, I encountered this statement from Hudson Taylor right near the administrative hub:
In a world which is active and proactive and reactive and is really too busy to pray (something to which I can readily testify myself), I encountered this statement in the seminar room:
In a world which thinks habitually in terms of finding personal significance and leaving a legacy - and which is far more aligned with "it is all about me" than it cares to confess, I encountered this statement on a wall in a lounge:
Maybe here in the heart of God's mission into the tribal areas of South East Asia we find being exposed some of the glaring omissions in the spirituality we cultivate back home? Maybe we are too self-sufficient and too central in our dreams for God? Maybe here is an example of life in a post-Western Christianity pointing the way ahead for the post-Christian West? Or maybe it is heavily-whiskered idealistic and out-dated nonsense that needs to be muzzled? Hmmm...