Update #5: Persons of Peace

From the team:

Our team’s destination today was a town south of the city. The town has remained a place of interest as it is a location where many UUPGs live and work. The journey there carried us through the most breathtaking landscape we’d seen to this point. A friend accompanied us to serve as translator.

In our first trip to the town last year, our team walked the town interested in meeting a “person of peace”, someone who would befriend us and support our building other relationships in the area. It was on that trip that we visited a scenic park and several sites both historical and religious. During that visit we were befriended by an elderly woman who acted as our tour guide leading us through back streets to sites of interest. When we were done, she led us across town and right up to our bus, which was just leaving and she flagged it down for us. In a follow up visit the next day, our team met with this woman and her family, shared the story with them and they accepted Christ.

I share that experience with you to provide context for the events of today. Two of the members of the team today had been on the first trip’s team. We arrived in town and walked the street until we found the park entrance we had used in our last visit. We retraced our former paths until we came to a courtyard area. There were people there that wanted to take their picture with us and we stayed and visited with them. We left and a woman of the group led us to a place to eat, bought us lunch, then acted as tour guide across town, visiting the same sites as last time and taking several of the same routes. It was at an active temple dedicated to their gods that we shared the story with her. There was something satisfying about our Father taking the fight to the enemy’s own stronghold. The conversation lasted several minutes and while she seemed interested, no further progress was made with her. However, we collected her contact information in order to follow up with her at a future date. She was extraordinarily kind and hospitable to us, even hailing a taxi for us to get us back to the bus station. Oddly enough, when we arrived, our bus was leaving the station and we had to flag it down and get on board. A few subsequent texts with her and she had invited us to her home next time we were in town. We have another person of peace.

Now, about taxis. Some are legitimately cars. Some are large shoeboxes with 3 wheels tacked to them. The latter is what we squeezed ourselves into today. It seats 4 . . . if they’re leprechauns. We were 5 and we are giants. There was the temptation to force convince our youngest team member to get out and run along behind but there was some concern that he would fail to keep up, get hit by some other vehicle and damage it. Nobody had time for that. So, we somehow managed to break nearly every law of physics and “fit” into this rolling lunchbox (lunchboxes are actually larger). Locals had to be thinking they were at the circus as we kept tumbling out of the clown car. At this point, I would not have been shocked to see a herd of elephants come strolling down the middle of the street trunk to tail with a band of monkeys riding minibikes. PSA: Do yourself a favor and be fairly discriminating about your taxis in East Asia.

Please pray for:

– The UUPG peoples of the town we prayed for today.

– For our person of peace we met and shared with today.

– For our team as we lead a service for a church tomorrow night.

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