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August 2014

Questions For You

What kind of stories would you like to read from a missionary's blog? If you were to ask me, I would love to hear stories of encounter with the local cultures. I find it enjoyable reading about a missionary's struggle learning the local dialect or accommodating to the indigenous life. Exotic stories. I remember reading about missionaries retelling the first time they took a bite of a balut (a 7-day old duck egg delicacy). Or how about their attempts to speak the language telling the people about the Lord but ended up describing the "graces of a pig." These are funny stories. I am sure, at the moment of encounter, they were stressful and embarrassing. Oh well! They are funny now.

So, what would you like me to write here on my blog? There is a trite answer that people often use: "Just write about things that are close to your heart." If you were to ask me, I would rather write about a Dutch Catholic Priest who helps people with physical challenges. But, what is so exciting about that? I probably would lose you. Or, I enjoy talking about The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit, or any of J. R. R. Tolkien's novels. Again, who among my readers would read my reflections on Tolkien's work? I think there is one FM pastor from Big Rapids, MI. Maybe, one or two of my Asbury friends. Otherwise, all of you will stop at the second paragraph. I do not blame you. Reading Tolkien's novel is one thing. Talking about these novels is another. 

Would you like me to talk abut my family? I am sure I can keep your attention. My family members are interesting persons, very passionate about humanity and determined to engage with the Lord's work here in Asia. However, I feel awkward talking about Sarah, Carmen, and Jacob. They are my family. Whenever I talk about them, I feel . . . it is self-serving. I do not think this is a virtue we want from a missionary.

So, tell me, what do you expect to read whenever you come and visit my blog? Do you even feel like responding to my questions? Which stories make you more human? What brings you back to the time and place when you first heard God say to you: "I love you my child. Come into my presence?" Tell me.

The Parable of The Parrot

Once upon a time, a jungle parrot visited his friends, the narra tree and the cow, living on a farmland. He questioned them saying: "How will you love your Master?"

"Well," the narra tree replied. "Since I can not move about to follow him, I will give him comfort when he seeks the solace of the shade of my branches."

"Well," the cow answered. "Since I am lowly in nature and can not do mighty acts for him, I will give him milk for the nourishment of his children."

One day the landowner spoke to all his estate saying, "Would you like to help me?" Immediately all the inhabitants chorused in affirmation. "I will be hosting a fellowship for my visitors tomorrow and I will be needing beef for the preparation of the feast and a sturdy wooden table to entertain all my guests."

The whole estate suddenly became silent.

The feast, however, went on the following day, with great rejoicing and splendor. On the last hour of the celebration, the landowner stood up and cried out, saying: "If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake, he is the one who will save it."

When the parrot was ready to leave his friends for his jungle home, he asked them saying, "How will you follow your Master?"

The narra tree swayed and replied, "Ssshhh." The cow bowed and answered, "Mmmooo."

The parrot flew away into the far horizon, engulfed by the bright panorama of the sunset of that late cloudy afternoon.

(By: David W. Clemente / / Republished from: CIRCUIT RIDER, 1991 Year Book)