I've agonized over my presentation on culture learning, trying to chose what content is appropriate for a one-hour presentation to this particular audience, wondering what might result... dismissal? disinterest? engagement? input? invitations to travel the world and teach? or just a "we'll take it from here"? I really don't know what to expect or what to hope for. And I have been quite anxious about this and other aspects of our journey.
If you are a person who prays, think of me at 4pm Jan 14. Or 12-15 hours before that, if you live in the US, to account for the time difference. I could use your prayers for this presentation / discussion.
Here's a video I hope to use to open it up. Of course I can't be sure technology will cooperate. This video can't be downloaded, evidently, and I hate to rely too much on internet access in a conference setting, in a different country, and on someone else's laptop. So I may just read the quote.
Still, I can share it with you here:
“More and more, the desire grows in me simply to walk around, greet people, enter their homes, sit on their doorsteps, play ball, throw water, and be known as someone who wants to live with them. It is a privilege to have the time to practice this simple ministry of presence.
"Still, it is not as simple as it seems. My own desire to be useful, to do something significant, or to be part of some impressive project is so strong that soon my time is taken up by meetings, conferences, study groups, and workshops that prevent me from walking the streets. It is difficult not to have plans, not to organize people around an urgent cause, and not to feel that you are working directly for social progress.
"But I wonder more and more if the first thing shouldn’t be to know people by name, to eat and drink with them, to listen to their stories and tell your own, and to let them know with words, handshakes, and hugs that you do not simply like them, but truly love them.”