Monday, January 29, 2007

Discover Your Priorities

It always shocks me when I hear of people who come to foreign cultures and expect to see immediate fruit of their labours. I’m reminded of missionaries who spend ten plus years works with Muslims only to see one convert. Most of the time, working with other cultures is the result of long, hard work.

Today, I spent the morning in town. What an experience that is! I’ll have to get some pictures (I still don’t have any!) to give you a sense of what a town in Fiji is like. Nadi (pronounced Nandee) was bustling with life, as native Fijians and (East) Indians mingled and went about their business. It only took a few minutes until one Fijian began to tell me about his village and how he wanted my contact information so we could be friends. Naturally, he got nothing out of me, but it took me getting his name and number on a sheet of paper before he would go away. Quite an adventure when people only see you because your skin is whit and you are an opportunity!

The rest of the two hours involved me drifting in and out of various shops and avoiding the shop owners like a plague! They would say hello to you, and then guide you to their shop where they probably wanted me to buy some grossly overpriced item because they had spent time with me. One guy ‘only wanted to give me a card’ which then turned into wanting me to sit down for an ‘authentic Fijian welcome ceremony’ – he already had 3 other white guys sitting around a bowl; Suckers. I said my goodbyes and moved on. Who knows what was in that bowl!

The evening involved me going to a pasta party with Sebastian and Miriam and a bunch of pilots. It was a blast, and the food was excellent. As the night wound down, I got into an interesting discussion with a Native Fijian woman who had married a British fellow. They were back in Fiji visiting her family for a few months. She was going on about her theology, etc. and because most of you know me well enough, I was in there like a dirty shirt!

The conversation led to her explaining how ‘God’ is a woman, who had a son out of the right part of her womb from a lotus. And the entire world unfolded from her womb, and then sin came in and corrupted everything. There is mankind and humankind. Mankind is the offspring of evil, and will all be destroyed. Humankind is the offspring of her, and is good. Only 3 million 800 thousand, etc. will be saved in the end. Everyone else will die. Lucky for me, my bloodlines are pure, and I’m a part of humankind, she told me. You think that’s hokey, it’s only the half of the theology she laid out for me, and that’s the part that made sense and didn’t contradict itself. It’s sad that a woman who really seemed so intelligent is so deceived.

But thus is life in a world like this. People are deceived. There was a point in the conversation where I brought Jesus into it. It was a very interesting encounter… she was immediately in my face, telling me that Jesus had nothing to do with it, and went on to explain some of her theology. As I looked into her eyes, God gave me a very interesting picture of what was going on behind the scenes. Evil was looking back at me through her eyes.

God is great!


Lorelei said...

Wow! Sounds like quite the conversation. It is sad when people are so deceived and misled. We just have to keep being the salt and light and PRAY!!

Andrew said...

hey! it's awesome to hear that you are enjoying yourself as well!! I still can't believe we're both down here! Crazy!