Thursday, March 12, 2009

While in India, the encounters of daily life have brought up and brought new light to previously pondered issues. The practical challenges have developed from the numerous beggars we encountered (especially in Delhi) and our the daily life at Herbertpur. The beggars that we have encountered have us rehash the struggle of similar situations that often occurred in the streets of Chicago, Atlanta or other travels. Often, we are found trying to figure out how to truely love those people. They want money and we have no way of communicating with them. The need seems endless. While we were in Delhi I had to think of the persistent widow before the judge in Christ’s teaching on prayer and I felt like the judge.
In the past, evangelism has often seemed the chief goal. I confess seeing preaching as the highest purpose and everything else I do with that goal in mind. Whether it is service or social action that we’ve been involved in, evangelism has been the goal in mind. An interesting quote by Gandi stated “ I hold that proselytizing under the cloak of humanitarian work is, to say the least, unhealthy..why should I change my religion because a doctor who professes Christianity as his religion has cured me of some disease..?” It has taken me, what seems like a long time, to see social action and evangelism as simultaneously important, but still it’s puzzling how they will fuse in the mission field before us.
I have read a few pages out of a book by John Stott that deals with this issue (it was sitting in our shared living space) and as he articulates social action should be a partner of evangelism. Neither being the purpose to accomplish the other. In this way, the Great Commission (which at first appears to emphasizes evangelism) should be understood to include both social and evangelistic responsibilities.
I have often read this commission while forgetting Jesus’ prayer, “As though didst send me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.” The statement begs to answer the question how did the Father send the Son? He came to serve. The Great Commission does not supersede but adds to the requirement of the second of the greatest Commandments, to love my neighbor including enemies. I have encountered many beggars and struggled in how to lovingly respond. I came hoping to get a greater glimpse of the things God wants us this education I have pursued. I entered medicine with the purpose of international missions yet I have less of a idea what that would consist of than I did when I started.
Staci and I are having a great time. I have been learning a lot in multiple areas including medicine, spiritual and cultural practices. We hope to travel with some friends from Holland this weekend to a National Park and if we are fortunate enough see some animals.
Internet was down so this didn’t get posted earlier. We already went to Rajaji National Park which will be posted separately.