Friday, June 27, 2008

My friend Matt's update from India

This is a pasted email from a friend of ours who is still in India, where we lived 5 years back (I cannot believe it has really been that long ago!). This email is the heartbeat of what it's all about friends. Jesus makes such a big difference, not only in hearts but in lifestyle, culture and way of thinking. If you've not read it, read "Discipling Nations" by Darrow Miller. It speaks of this radical need for Jesus to change infrastructure, so that countries and cultures can be changed from the inside out. It's something that the UN could never do...

Read this, friends:

‘We try to examine everything we do in terms of how it can benefit the poor and the oppressed.’

A man that knows the work of an electrician takes for his students the poor and oppressed and teaches them that trade. He does not teach the poor and oppressed just handyman knowledge to fix a broken tubelight so they can get ten Rupees here and there. Since he thinks it should be excellent, he teaches them the science and the practice so that the poor and oppressed can command thousands in India and abroad. He glows when he talks about those from the poor and oppressed who have taken what they have learned from him and gotten high-paying jobs. Like the one who recently got a position in Punjab for Rs. 3500/- plus benefits, or the one who is earning well in Mumbai, or the one who got a good position in Dubai . On his birthday it was humid. Everyone was tired at the end of the day when we had a dinner party to celebrate with him. It was probably around 10.30pm when everyone was starting to leave that he sat down next to me and asked me a question in Hindi: “I saw you measuring the land these last few days. How does it work? I want to learn so I can teach it to my students.” We are sitting on a wooden bench in the garden eating his birthday cake at 10.30pm, we are both tired and sweating and he wants to learn how to survey: right there, right then. So in Hindi, right then, right there, I started and went on and on from the beginning until he had had enough for that night…

‘An upper caste woman is sitting on the ground writing out her exam. Sitting next to her, a Dalit woman is sitting on the ground writing out her exam. It is a revolution.’

And it is a bigger one than those sentences or those words themselves can possibly add to, because the greater beauty is not in those words or in the mechanisms as a body is not just bones and sinews. Have we seen the body with the skin on or have our eyes become like x-rays? Listen to the lesson: The minstry leader was once teaching God’s Word to a group of leaders from among the poor and the oppressed. He was speaking in front of the group, reading from God’s Word, and writing certain words and sentences on the blackboard with chalk. After he was finished, as is their custom, one student was chosen to teach the same lesson back to the group by speaking in front of them, by reading from God’s Word, and by writing certain words and sentences on the blackboard with chalk. As the minstry leader was listening to the student re-teach the lesson, he began to correct him about a particular matter. One of the students who was an older man leaned over and told the minstry leader quietly,

“Brother, don’t correct him too much, for before this I have never in my life seen a Dalit (the untouchable caste) teach a group of people like this man is doing right now...”

It happened that way because that man saw a greater beauty.

In Christ, in India ,

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