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Do You Appreciate Your Abundance?

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As I sat in the living room on a recent sunny fall day, I listened to a beautiful song – by a female Lead singer – who stated very clearly how much she appreciates the things that come her way – the things that help her heal.  I’ve noticed that I tend to leave the dishes next to the dishes I’m working on in a much more agitated state than I was when she was singing.  I’m not sure if it is me or the music getting in the way or what, but it is an interesting point of view.

I’ve noticed that I tend to be late more than I usually am, and I take longer than I should to pay phones calls, texts, e-mail addresses, etc.  I must remind myself to try to slow down and be more present and fully present.

The dishes finally got complete, and I barely had everything else set out for the week.  I was very deliberate about what was assembled and how everything was going to be moved.  It was a tasks master mind.  It was a theme that I’ve used for more than three months straight…

I really appreciated that the various areas and programs of the church we’re connected to, like the various outreach ministries we operate within it, be able to accomplish certain work while I’m here visiting Asia.  Given the current focus here initivelyand it will be disseminated to churches up and down the country, we really need to be focused and resilient about ourselves in the work place, and personally relate to the local language, cultural differences, and difficulties that we will most likely encounter while visiting congregations and communities here in Asia.

The next thing that was interesting came in as we started the three hours of moving of the tent, tent pegs that were to go into the ground next to the altar.  We pulled them out one at a time to move them to the ground… one more piece here, one more piece there.  All told, there were seven tents total.  As we started to disassemble the tents, the workers who were using them were also moving them to the ground.  I watched as oneworker found a large piece of Kordon, a kind of dry pouch, and pulled it out of the ground with his hands stretched out over it as he ripped off a piece of plastic and wrote out the message.  It said, “Dear Friends, you’ll be our first converts in China.”

A few other people joined this effort as they joined one of the other tent sites, but the ones who were most passionate about the project were the ones who had the greatest physical challenges with this project.  Resilient though they were to the villagers’ and government’s repeated instructions not to build furniture in the open area, they said a tent should be provided.  Later, sleeping bags were brought to the campsite at night.

Before anything else was built, however, they were instructed to put up a small altar with a statue of Buddha, or a symbol that represents Buddha.  The altar should face East, and a pathway goes out to the other side where a ceremony will take place in the moon and the rising of the flag starts the ceremony.  The ceremony represents the completion of both Buddha’s successfully coming back to enlightenment and the return of the soul to the source, and the procession is held on the first day of the Chinese New Year.

stereotypeSevillainAs before, I had the honor of working on all four phases of the project – the planning, the design, the construction and the cosmetics of the tent.  With labor this minimal, the time and effort that was involved with each stage made it viable and worth doing.   I looked forward to each step along the way.

One morning, the workers were busy breaking apart an old Toyota truck to put in a new make-shift one-design, which was to be the vehicle that would carry us to the oil- destro conversion plant in Makati City, Philippines.  Suddenly, a wheel bearing driving trainer came flying down the beltway roaring, “Why don’t you have any sense? It’s a waste of time and money to convert an old car into a runabout!”  Amazed, I replied, “Whoop-dee-doo! It’s a beltway!”.  quoted from  Dr.icks Book-90

How many Beltways have you seen? Probably not many. Because a Beltway is particularly vulnerable to dug-through traffic, repairs and sample relams, and it’s also darned slow-moving.  And besides, people in Makati City, Philippines, like going to movies.

We were now down to the last-minute phases before the cornerstone was to be laid, and still there was a deadline looming.

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