Posted by: janpierce | January 4, 2009

THE LEARNING CURVE

Just this morning I found out a fact that gives all my understandings of the orphanage we work with a new perspective. It was a big “Aha!” and has to do with the particular caste that the directors and most of their pastors came from. Even though the caste system is illegal, it is still practiced and understood throughout the country much as we are aware of the heritage of many Americans and say, “Oh they are Norwegian or Irish or whatever. It never ceases to amaze me that there are neverending layers of understandings that we have to keep peeling away at and still we lack understanding of the culture. Some would suggest that we just stay home and work with needy people here. I agree that we should minister anywhere we live and all the time, but both Roger and I feel that God has opened the doors to work in India and that we are to persevere even when we make mistakes or fail to understand.  There are needs to fill and good work to do.

Once in a while I see how we are being used. In this particular caste the people are very downtrodden and unaccepted by higher ones. They would not even be welcome to enter the home of a higher caste member. As Roger works to teach house church principles I can see that they would be very helpful since new believers would just meet in a family member’s home and not be expected to “mingle” with those of other castes in a traditional church setting. There are many ungodly attitudes that keep people from learning more about God and the caste system is undoubtedly one of them. But look around in our own culture and you will soon have another list of the things that get in the way.

So we’ll keep doing what we’re doing in India and will continue to tailor our work  to the things God shows us over time. It would be nice if God would sovereignly reveal all we need to know at once, but it would probably overwhelm us. He knows our intentions and we trust He is also working His plan through us as we give up any need for approval or applause from others. It’s humbling to know that we don’t fully understand, but are called to respond to the things we do understand and then change and grow as we learn more. This is especially hard for a person like me who wants to be RIGHT! We may be slow learners, but at least we’re in there trying.

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