A Different Perspective

When you spend time with people of another culture you see yourself and your country from a different perspective.   Amid impromptu July 4th fireworks in the neighborhoods around town are a group of Burmese people trying to make sense of an entirely new perspective.   

The other day I was working with a couple of non-English speaking Burmese on a home project and we happened to take a load of scrap materials to the new Riverdale Road dump and recycling yard.  As we unloaded the pickup they were amazed when a crew backed in with a truck full of appliances to be discarded.  I guess they were wondering how Americans could throw so much away.  Watching them discuss this between themselves I was reminded of an account shared by a friend at my home office.   David C. Cook is located in Colorado Springs and I-25 is a major corridor chute down into Mexico.  Often ‘Springs residents will see old cars and trucks loaded down with cast-off American appliances enroute to the border.   

This picture gives me a graphic way of seeing my Burmese and other emigree friends from a new perspective.   Although some people may try to forget these folks or marginalize their need, those Burmese who are already believers, are citizens of God’s kingdom.  The early church was a similar minority in the prevailing culture and the apostle Paul wrote about their experience in the following passage.

“(1 Cor 4:9-13 NIV)  For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like men condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to men.  We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored!  To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless.  We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it;  when we are slandered, we answer kindly. Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world.”

 

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About johnmcmurphy

Jesus is first and foremost in my life. He is above all religions, principalities and powers. In everything He must increase and I must decrease. Into the hands of Jesus, God has placed life and death, truth and purity. strength and meaning. Only in a growing understanding of the triune God, and his son Jesus can I do, breathe, exist and serve. I have a Bachelor's degree in Bible from Vennard College, a Master's in Social Science from Azusa Pacific University and a Ph. D. from Ohio State in Family Relations and Human Development. I am an ordained pastor involved in cross-cultural ministry. I am currently employed at several colleges as an instructor. If you need to get in touch with me, just leave a comment, I screen all comments and so you can leave further contact information which I will erase before it is published. -John

Posted on July 3, 2008, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Your comments about the Burmese response to throwing away appliances reminds me of an incident when I happened to run into a Burmese I knew at the grocery store. He looked into my nearly full shopping cart and asked, “Is all this food for a month?” I was embarrassed to admit that we shop every week. For many of the Burmese who are struggling to make ends meet, what an average American family spends in a week would probably feed a Burmese family for a month. Something to think about…..

  2. George,
    You can do on-line Bible research at http://www.myanmarbible.com/
    I will send you some other addresses offline.
    -John

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