Today I travelled Ban town Kha town with ZL and another Leader.
We left Ban town 1at 10am, arrived Kha 4:30 – trip not as long as expected, which was nice. We ate some amazing food in Chit city – it was expensive, but really good.
We went through 4 police check points. They all knew my name and knew I was coming. It went well. At the last place, they sent a jeep to accompany us to the hotel. They also came inside the hotel. 5 armed soldiers – with big, big guns. Yeah, I felt strange. They are doing it for my protection. I need not be afraid of them- they are on my side. But still, somehow it was a little nerve wracking…I tried not to notice. I am thinking it might be good preparation for Dry Land. We’ll see.
Anyway one of the local leaders was there, along with one of the Book Workers for the Cha people. It was really encouraging to meet both of them. They had a big beautiful thing of flowers to welcome me. Then we went to our rooms- which were basic, but very nice. I was shocked at how nice everything was. We chose non A/C rooms to save some money, but the weather here is a bit cooler than Ban town, so it’s not a problem. And it’s monsoon, so that makes it a bit cooler too.
After about ½ hour, ZL came to my room with the pastor and TR worker, and we talked about the program for the next few days – starting with that evening. ZL said, “If you are tired, we don’t have to go out…but if you want, one of the leaders can call some of the people and we can have a meeting and you can share a story if you want…”
We also talked about the plan for tomorrow – apparently, we may go by boat somewhere? It kind-of depends on the weather. We’ll see. Wherever we go, they said again there would be a group of people that I could share stories with/train. Whatever that means, we’ll find out. :)
After our discussion, I planned out a few ideas for that evening and for the next day. Within 20 minutes ZL was back and wanted to show me a video of a singing group from north India. It was interesting to watch.
We then left (by motorbike- I think there were 3-4 motorbikes?) to go to the local leader’s house. There were about 12 people there – maybe 7-8 men, the rest women. We sang (or rather they sang) a praise song in the national language. Then ZL said some stuff. Then the local leader said some stuff – most about how thankful and appreciative they were that I was there, and how they knew God was going to teach them and bless them through me... I then shared the calling of the disciples story. I chose it since it was a little shorter than the others. They did okay with the retelling. The discussion also went fairly well- they were more willing to speak up than the kids were. I encouraged the women to talk- saying I needed them to make me feel comfortable among all these men! They tried, but it was hard. Later ZL told me this kind of open discussion was new for them. He said it was good- but it wasn’t easy for them to speak out because they weren’t used to that kind of discussion.
We actually covered a lot of things within the disciples story itself.
We talked about the importance of retelling – what’s the point of discussing something you can’t remember/don’t understand?
I explained how a story needs to be:
1) accurate – from the Book(do not add anything…)
2) easy to remember
3) it’s important t check if the story connects, or doesn’t connect with the culture. Example – if this culture worships fish – it might not be good to start with this story, since all those fish die!
One person asked, “Why did Jesus call Peter, why not the rest of the crowd…” ZL gave one answer. Then I said, “If your friend asks this same question, I would give one of two responses…
1) Turn the question back on that person – why do you think he did that?”
2) Say, “Well, you know what – I’ve got more stories about Peter, do you want to hear them?”
After the “program” –(which was about 1 hour I think- ending at 8:30?), we went to another local leader’s house and ate dinner. It actually took a while, and we didn’t eat until 9:30. We didn’t get back to the hotel til about 10:30. I then discovered two very large cockroaches in my room. I wasn’t sure what to do, but finally decided they were too fast to catch and would be really gross to squash. So, I decided to just leave them and go to bed. I turned off all the lights, but at 4am, I woke up and one of my lights was on. I thought for about 5 seconds, “was someone in my room, and I didn’t know it?” But then I remembered I was in South Asia- and the more likely event was that the electricity just did something weird and somehow the light was on when previously it had been off. I don’t know for sure – it was a bit strange.
I also had a dream in which I was speaking national language of Riverland. I was using some Hindi, but kept saying, “donobad di” – which I’ve heard a lot in the prayers – it means something along the lines of ‘we thank you.’ Interesting dream.
I did find out about the ‘lake of fire’ term the girl used in the Shadrach story. ZL had not used that in his translation when he translated my English into the national langauge– he had just said a ‘big fire.’ The girl chose those words from her own mind- and Zar Lawm said that phrase is also used in the Bam language Book. It is not used to indicate Hell at all - it is used to describe a big/intense fire. I asked him if that phrase could be used to describe other things in large quantities like, ‘a lake of trees,’ or ‘a lake of wind’ – he said he never heard it used for anything else, but he wasn’t completely sure. Interesting.