This morning, at the East Side church of Christ in Midwest City, Oklahoma, a missionary came to talk to us from Indonesia. He is American, and he has been sent from the church of Christ in Midland, Texas to tell others about Christ in Indonesia. After him teaching the Sunday morning Bible class and preaching, I realized that I had a lot in common with him. He said when he began as a missionary, he was like a salesman. He sold them on baptism, but after they came in the front door, they went out the back. That is not what I have in common with him. He said that he finally realized he was doing something wrong, and that we are not sent to teach the issues, but to teach Christ, so he began actually sharing the story of Christ. That is what I agree with him about.
In Romania, in Japan, in Texas, in Korea, in West Virginia, where ever I have taught Bible classes, I read directly with people from the gospel of Matthew from beginning to end so they could get the complete story. I have met other missionaries who think they have to argue issues like telling women to be quiet, baptism, whether or not to use musical instruments, or some other issue before anyone can even think about teaching people to be Christians, but the issues are not the important thing. The important thing is the story of Christ. He has accomplished a lot telling the story of Christ, and from my knowledge, that is what missionaries should be doing, and that is what I have done. Telling the story of Christ builds faith and builds a church.
If you are telling the story of Christ, the issues take care of themselves. Teaching people to read the Bible, they usually learn what is right and what is wrong. and you don’t have to pinpoint them on anything. They do it to themselves. The last guy I saw baptized in Korea, pinpointed me. He sat me down in a coffee shop and began asking question after question, and I just took him to places in the Bible that answered his questions. I didn’t tell him what to think about anything. I let him read it, so God talked to him. We were doing it all in Korean, and he understood the Korean Bible better than I did, and he came up with good answers when he read. People have brains. We don’t have to tell them what to think. We just show them the Bible, and they will understand.
The name of the missionary is Winston Bolt. He is sent by the Golf Course Road church of Christ in Midland, Texas. He gave us a pamphlet because he is trying to tell people about the work in Indonesia because he is supposed to be trying to find places to speak about the work and raise money. His wife has been sick, so she is still in Indonesia. He is traveling around alone. He has converted so many people that he can’t remember how many he has converted because he has been a missionary for so long like me. I thought I would share some of this pictures with you just in case you are interested.
I am so grateful that I went as an English professor and never had to go from church to church in America trying to raise money like the man who spoke to the church this morning. However, when the university decided I was old enough to retire, it meant that my support was gone. The thing I am struggling with now is that I am a woman, and many churches don’t want women doing anything. There are people who look at me suspect because I am a woman who can teach and taught Bible. I don’t stand in the pulpit. I just read the Bible with people, but it makes people suspect of me because so many people have trouble with women doing much in church. When men come back from the mission field, all the churches invite them to speak, but they don’t invite women. Many wonder if I have done something wrong because they think women aren’t supposed to do anything, but I am convinced that if women are allowed to be Christians, they should also be allowed to share their faith. There is nothing wrong with women reading the Bible with others. If men retire from the mission field, they come back to America and get a preaching job, but that is not an option for me.
This guy who spoke this morning is completely white headed and has been there a while, and he is still allowed to keep serving God. Here are some of this pictures.
I am having trouble with getting pictures to upload on my blog lately. I had a map of Indonesia I wanted to upload that won’t upload, but you can find one online if you look. The name of the Bible college where he is teaching is Bantam Bible College. It is a very small school, much smaller than Korea Christian University, where I have been teaching. Korea Christian University began as a preaching school, and then they branched out to other majors too. Many missionaries begin schools. In Korea, Yonsei, one of the biggest and most prestigious universities in Korea that also has a huge hospital was begun by missionaries also. When I was in Nigeria, they had Nigerian Christian hospital and Nigerian Christian Bible College. I didn’t teach at their Bible college, but the Board of Nigerian Christian Schools tried to get me to teach at Nigerian Christian Bible College after coming back from Romania. At that time, I had small children, and I didn’t think Nigeria was the best place for my children. When I went the first time, I was very young and only had a two year old son. Shortly after I said “no,” to the Board of Nigerian Christian Schools, a group of armed gunmen looking to rob forced their way into Nigerian Christian Bible College, and I was really glad I hadn’t taken my family there. The school had to close for a while, but opened again later. When I was in Romania, I taught at Lucian Blaga University in Sibiu, Romania. It was not a Christian university, but it had a part that taught young men to be priests and young women to be nuns, and among many other types of classes, I taught classes for the young women studying to be nuns. In the church I am part of, there are no nuns, but it was Romania, and in Romania, the Orthodox Church has nuns. I let them memorize scriptures in English, talk about and write about Christianity in English, and sing Christian songs in English, and they really enjoyed it and learned a lot. They also taught me a lot about the Orthodox church.
You see, I am an English professor. I was educated as an English professor. I am not like many of these people who go over seas for a couple of weeks and want to read the Bible with people in English for a few weeks, then go home to their comfy lives. I have the education to teach English in a university. I have also studied Bible on the university level. When I go, I stay. I learn the language, and I study the culture. I make real relationships among the people. I am not an acquaintance in passing to the people where I go. This guy in Indonesia has been there a long time too. He is forming real relationships and learning about where he lives. He doesn’t just fly into Indonesia for a few weeks and then go home. He stays. If anyone wants him to speak at their church, leave me a message, and I will contact him and tell you.