Thursday, January 21, 2010

Things I Have Learned

  1. “Gusto” doesn’t translate well. (Fortunately, I learned by listening to someone else.)

  2. Horn-honking is required. And no obscene gestures are returned.

  3. Wild elephants sometimes come on seminary property and eat things they are not supposed to.

  4. Banana chips don’t taste much like bananas. But bananas in India still taste like bananas in America. (My coming to know the first, surprised me. My church family knowing that I know the second will surprise them.)

Ah, life in the big world …

I have spent the last week in India, and will be here for several more days before returning home.

By God’s grace and providence, I have had the opportunity to travel to different parts of the world. It has not been often. Over the last eighteen years, I have only been on four continents in a dozen or so trips. But it has been instructive and challenging.

World travel with open eyes is a wonderful teacher, not because it reminds us of how good whave it in America, but because it reminds us of the great call to make disciples of all nations.

I will be posting some more on my trip throughout the coming days as it winds down and I process it all in my head.

If you ever have the chance, travel the world, not to see sites and beaches, but to see gospel work going on.

Make friends with a missionary family and learn about life in their country, and learn about the work of the gospel. With the missionary's permission, visit them. Make sure you serve them; do not be a burden for them; give them more money than you think they are spending on you; and don't overstay your welcome.

Read missionary blogs, like my friend Dave, who challenges me every time he posts.

Read missionary biographies. My favorites is still Through Gates of Splendor.

Listen to missions preaching, such as the recent SGI Conference, or John Piper's biographical sketches. (I recently was challenged by his presentations on William Carey and John Paton. Go over to Desiring God and download them.)

Read National Geographic, not for pictures of things, but for stories of people groups. Wonder about the progress of the gospel in their communities and cultures.

And if in your travels you see a site or two along the way, all the better.

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