Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Experiencing True Culture

This past week, our team got the privilege to go to a festival celebrating Idul Fitri, which ends the fasting month of Ramadan. Our translator told us about this festival and he wanted us to experience not only the religion in this island, but the culture that was around us. There were so many people at this festival and the atmosphere was amazing. We also got to be part of the last breaking of the fast and met a government officer who was the guest of honor at this festival. There was so much going around that it was a little overwhelming.

While we were there, though, we decided to prayer walk while we were looking around for the lost people that were there and see where God lead us. We ended up walking on the beach where hundreds of people have congregated to join the festivities. It was really cool to see how the local culture was very emphasized at this festival and being accepted in their celebration.

One thing I notice at the beginning of the festival, there was a tower of packets of rice that a couple of Muslims brought in. I didn’t know what it was at first, but our translator said it was just a symbol of the breaking of the fasting month. While looking at it, I reminded me about what God says about praising other idols. In Acts 17:22-32, Paul was in Athens and was addressing to the men of Athens about the many idols they had in their city. Paul saw one idol that was labeled as the “unknown god” and asked them who was this. He eventually proclaimed that “The God who made the world and everything in it, …does not live in temples made by man…he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.” It brought me sadness because these people are in need of Savior and that is Christ Jesus. I ask for prayers for these people that God may remove all barriers, including those in form of idolatry, so we these people can be more receptive to His Word. I also would like to pray that God will give us grace, patience, and love as we communicate with these nice people and not let any distractions enter our minds as we speak truth.

-Johann M.