I attended a luncheon hosted by the Chinese ministry at my mother's c*hurch today. The food was provided by the China Wok which is owned by a Chinese couple in the congregation. The speakers were a couple from Alabama who are career mission*aries stationed in China for the most part of their min*istry. We were appalled when the couple got up to speak. Instead of telling us about their work and the people they encounter in the course of their work, we were treated to a jeremiad about their trials and tribulations. That was bad enough, but when (with several Chinese ch*rchmembers in full view) they started by describing how dirty it was in China, how their children failed to thrive, how they didn't like the food, etc. I am not religious myself, and I was planning not to say anything about it to my mother (just promised myself I'd never let her trick me into this again), but we weren't even out of the building before my mother expressed her amazement. Have any of you encountered others like this pair?
Obviously, their living conditions impressed them more than the good work that they did (if, indeed they DID any good work while they were there).
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With luck the board over seeing those folks will reconsider funding them in the future.
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BM (Before Me), husband, then wife, and kids went to Zaire for a couple of years as miss-ionaries. (Now Demo-cratic Republic of the Congo - a misnomer because they would not know demo-cracy if it bit them in the rear.)
He has a fantastic slide show.
Mud hut in the bush, "This is Africa."
NICE house in a city, "This is Africa."
Brush and savanna grasses, "This is Africa."
A beautiful well tended garden full of blooms, "This is Africa."
To this day he says that he got more out of his experience than he was able to share with the people there. Yes, he laughs about the woman who was mumbling, then finally spit the big fat juicy LIVE caterpillar out of her mouth so that she could talk. It was a delicacy that she was taking home to her family. Comm-union at one church was Big Red soda pop and saltine crackers. He also talks about when then wife handed a Swahili language New Testa-ment to a lady at the edge of a village. In Swahili the woman asked, "For me?" After the affirmation, she ran through the village waving the book over her head and shouting about her new possession.
I personally think that the mission board that sponsors that couple should be told about the program...and enclose a copy of any audio/video recording if it one was made.This message has been edited. Last edited by: KeepYouInStitches,
Charming, they are on their way back to China next month. Their new job is to break in the new mission*aries. KYIS, I had thought that the Foreign Mission Board ought to be told something, but it's hard to believe that they don't already know. Oh well, I was only a visitor. I'll leave it up to the actual members to complain if they think their contributions are being spent poorly. One other thing that bothered me is that they spoke of engaging in activities that are against the law in China. I couldn't help wondering how we would feel about foreignors coming here with the specific intent of breaking our laws.
this is interesting to read but since the only missionaries I have ever met are the one's who have come to my front door, where I explain MY views on rel igion to them, I can not relate to it.
DH is re-reading Thoreau and he likes to quote him saying "beware the man who is coming to do me good!" Or words to that effect.
LoS, I came to the conclusion many years ago that missionary has to be the rudest profession of all. Imagine having the gall to think you know best for somebody else. But that's just me...
Many foreigners are here with the specific intent of breaking our laws...
DH said it was a fine line. But then again, they were in a country receptive to miss-ionaries. Since they two their two school-age children with them, he said they specifically asked not to be sent to China or India.
Yes, KY, but do we welcome those foreigners?
I am wondering if that missionary pair were perhaps making a case for more funding or something like that.
I would seem to me though, that for missionaries do be effective, that they would have to learn to love the country they were working in, and they would have to love and understand the people.
But Yes, I know many people who are negative and see the "glass half empty."
And I don't think of missionary workers as being in a "rude profession". They have something they hope to share, and no one has to accept it if they don't want to. To me there is nothing wrong with that.
There is a good show on PBS we have been watching lately called the story of England. (think it is not new) anyway we were in the 15th C. and a reli gious uprising was taking place opposing the La tin services, the Pop e etc. This of course before Henry V111 & the reforma tion in Germany.
Like most such disputes this one ended with lots of bonfires (people as fuel) etc. Interesting as I had not known of this earlier attempt at reforming the ch urch.
cocok, I understand your feeling. Mine is an extension of another "tenet" of mine--There is nothing so unwelcome as unsolicited advice. Feeling that way, how could I have any other opinion on the profession? But, given the setting, I would have been able to put all that aside to listen to this couple had their message been something other than Me Me Me. They weren't asking for money but that was the underlying message in their requests for letters of encouragement, etc. They made several references to the Lottie Moon organization, but it wasn't necessary to mention money since they were speaking to a knowledgeable group of fellow believers. I felt like I'd been swept back more than 50 years.This message has been edited. Last edited by: sms29s66,
Christ ian Mission aries have been killed in China. It is dangerous to have fa ith in G od there. They don't have relig ious liberty there. It is the same way in some other countries that are prominent in the news now.
I've been lucky enough to see and listen to many mission aries who work in foreign countries. They are self sacrificial people. Many go into areas where r e l I g I o n is not allowed. They are aware of the threats to their lives. I've listened to mission aries who have been tortured. These are awesome people. Just the best. I know people who have gone on short term trips overseas to clean up in Indonesia after the sunami. I've got to give them credit, all of them. They have Good News for many especially the poor and the oppressed.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Leafly,
I understand that, Leafly. I just question the wisdom of deliberately going into a country to break their laws. After all, if they are arrested, they can't count on the State Dept to get them out, can they? And I repeat that we don't take kindly to people who come here to break our laws, do we? I don't mean to start another OT war here, so maybe we ought to just retire this topic.
My original intent was really to comment on their insensitivity to the feelings of the Chinese chu*rchmembers who were trying to share their culture with the group. It had to have been a painful experience for them to hear their ancestral home denigrated. No matter what we think of the gover*nment we leave behind, we tend to love our native land. I found that out when I met Cuban refugees back in the 60's.This message has been edited. Last edited by: sms29s66,
Yes, no kidding. I imagine it would have been much more appropriate for them to speak about people they have helped, or uplifting experiences they have had, or good things they had noticed about the Chinese community or the customs of the people, or their commitment to the work.
I would bet that these missionaries are not as successful as they could be due to their attitudes.
[QUOTE] I don't mean to start another OT war here, so maybe we ought to just retire this topic. QUOTE]
Hi sms, I'm not into war either. You have free speech with me.
Cocok had a good thought here.
---"I would bet that these missionaries are not as successful as they could be due to their attitudes"This message has been edited. Last edited by: Leafly,
This is basically the same thing I was going to say. Family members went on a one week mission trip building homes in a poverty area and the family they were building the new home for sat across the street all day and watched them. Did you get that, they didn't help with the construction. The mission workers came home to say that exact same comment - I learned more about myself through the experience than I taught them.
Lurah, I had assumed that KYIS meant something more upbeat.
Yes, DH was very positive about his time in the mission field.
It sounds like if they had been self starters they would have been here building a house for some poor in this country! That is one way of looking at it.
2nd) they may have felt it presumptuous of them to "help" they may have seen it as interfering.
3rd) they may have felt intimidated by the carpentry skills of the family members.
4th) they may have been lazy which sounds like the take away the family got from them.
Some questions. Were they asked to help? Did they want the help they were being given? How were they selected to receive this offer?
My question about the house building...was the family asked if they wanted to help build their home?
And so were the mission folks I was referring to!
Leave it to a poster to read something negative into my comment and turn the thread into an uproar!This message has been edited. Last edited by: Lurah,
Lurah, in all seriousness, I ask you to re-read your post. I doubt that I'm the only one to assume you meant to criticize the people you were helping. What exactly DID you mean by stating and repeating that they did nothing to help? How were we supposed to interpret your meaning? We aren't mind readers. But I apologize for misreading your post.
The thing is - we don't know why the people didn't help with the house. To speculate here is to showcase our own prejudices.
One other - if it was a Habitat house, the family is already required to put in X number of hours on that house and other houses.
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Lurah this is your emphasis not ours. No one wants to turn anything into an "uproar"
Perhaps if you had wanted us to understand something else; you could have told us what your relatives learned about them selves. That did not seem the point though of your post though.
Charming of course we can not "know" why the people did not help and of course we are all (I am) speculating but Lurah's emphasis "did you get that" seems to me that she really wants us to understand that the people being helped were doing nothing to help themselves (in this instance)
There's one chu-rch group that is located at least in Texas where high school kids go to help renovate/winterize/paint/rebuild porches/etc. Only the team can do anything. There's something about insurance. The homeowner cannot even pick up a nail or a paint brush.
LOS - Not real sure how else to take Lurah's comments. Her emphasis was with the inserted - "did you get that?" when mentioning the family did not assist. So, the family members came home feeling good about themselves because they were willing to help where those being helped seemed to be unwilling to help themselves.
That is why, if we do not know the circumstances anything else is speculation and gossip about people and a situation we know nothing about. As Sherry pointed out, sometimes they are not allowed to help.
Yep, they could be those shiftless poor folks, probably welfare queens on top of it all. Or they live in a part of our country with bad schools, few jobs, limited transportation, limited opportunities and at the top the nation in every negative list there is. I don't know, so I have nothing to say about them. I just know what happens when you start making assumptions about people.
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That was all that was shared by my cousin - I do not know the reason why the family did not help, but she explained that the new home inhabitants came out every day to watch construction from across the road the whole time they worked.
At first they were puzzled by the lack of help, but eventually the volunteers came around to realize a different outcome from their missionary experience - that they were more personally blessed by the experience than they ever imagined they would be.
There are approximately 159,000 C H R I S tians killed each year worldwide because of their beliefs. That does not include C h r I s tians who are jailed and tortured. See ChRis tianity Today Magazine. also Read about CHina. Read about some middle eastern countries.
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