early monday morning thoughts
I've been thinking all weekend about a fellow I met on Friday. Sitting in the coffee shop, preparing for a meeting, I was approached by a well dressed Korean man in his 30's, carrying a 2 year old boy. He introduced himself and, through broken English, asked me a couple of questions about driving outward focused churches. We spoke slowly - his diction was perfect, but the words were hard to come by. He would pause for fifteen or twenty seconds to gather the correct word, but when he uttered it, it was clear.
It turns out this fellow is only here for a few months. He's a worship leader from Korea. He's come to learn our prayer and worship model as well as pick up anything else he can learn. Only when I pressed him for details about 'back home' did he produce a small flyer from his church...and the place is gargantuan! I'm guessing from the photo that the auditorium would seat 3,000 people. On the flyer was a synopsis of his involvement (in Korean, of course, but impressive, none the less!) and a picture of his beautiful wife leading a large dance team. This was not a guy who had nothing to lose by coming here - he obviously was a prominent leader in his own world.
I sat there thinking "I cannot believe this guy came halfway around the world - from a very comfortable setting - to struggle with a language barrier when it would have been a lot easier to stay home and maintain what they had." We get bent out of shape when the preacher uses a word incorrectly or chooses a bad illustration...this fellow, with plenty to say in his own right, sits intently with a pencil and writes down whatever he gleans from understanding every third word or so.
I'm not sure how long my friend will be in the US. One thing I do know...I'm challenged to sharpen my mind and gauge my own hunger. How bad do I want to learn/grow/be challenged? Do I even know what it means to be so hungry that it costs me something to be satisfied?