Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I wonder what they think about us?

Tonight, two pastors from the Phillipines visited my church's Wednesday night prayer meeting and bible study. They have begun an association of churches in the Phillipines. These are small, not fancy, churches, many in homes. They came to visit us approximately a year ago and several people "sponsored children" in the Phillipine church communities. This sponsorship provides schooling and supplies for the children. One of the requirements for the children to be in the program is that the parents must come to church every week. Anyway, tonight was kind of an informational visit for the church family. They showed us a power point of what has been going on there. They voiced appreciation for the prayers and support. They also brought some pictures of the children and notes from them. The pastor told us of 8 adult family members that had been baptized as a result of children sponsored through this program. No one clapped. There were a couple of "amens" and some smiles, head nods, and mumbling among friends, but no one clapped. Not one of us. When the presentation was over, there was the standard clapping at the end of a speech. Then we began our study of the Corinthian church. While I am very excited by the idea of a chapter by chapter, verse by verse study of God's word, I couldn't help but wonder what those Phillipine pastors were thinking about our discussion. I mean, they are struggling to bring light into the darkness of the Phillipines, and we are listing things that make people dislike churches. It was Wednesday night, which usually means the "faithful", it was a good crowd. I wonder how we looked to them? Did we shine? They struggle to house students for their seminary, need new buildings built, roofs replaced. There are 7001 islands in the Phillipines, they need churches. The people need to hear about Christ. I am in NO WAY blaming or pointing at our pastor, we are blessed to have him at our church, but I am pointing at the rest of us, the American church. We are so detached from the real pain and death that is all around us. We are so jaded to the victory and salvation of the lost. I know that the church is to be the bride of Christ, I know that Christ loves and died for the church. But really, are we dressed and ready for the wedding? Those Christians in the Phillipines, fighting big odds, with few resources, but fully reliant on an awesome, Almighty God, aching and hurting for their lost countrymen...not aching over growing pains, new music or old habits, or "unfriendly Christians" (is that really possible?). Again, I wonder what they thought of us? Did we look ready for the wedding?


JimBo said...

We probalby really don't want to know what they think of us. I know they are grateful but we really don't give them much of a reason to be proud to know us.