It was a good inductive bible study. I could say it went well, and I wouldn’t be lying, but it was so much more, before and after, that really sums up all that the experience is. For example, I am driving this narrow road down this crowded street, with bars and stores on one side and roadside stands on the other. As I drive by, I hear yells and people saying stuff and I notice that everyone is staring at me. I saw a person, Joseph, who is in my class and so I put him in the car, but the front is packed with stuff, and so he gets in the back. I continue my drive and then I hear someone yell something loud in Nyanga as we drive by. I ask Joseph what was just yelled, and he translated, “Why are you sitting in the back with the minister?” I couldn’t explain the scenario that I had stuff in my front seat and that I don’t see myself as superior, but because of the race, the white, rich American, the resentment goes deep, assumptions fly. And then I get to the study and we are sitting in the hot small brick building with concrete floor and there are garbage bags over the windows. I brought some sodas for a treat, and I kept them cool in my cooler with ice packs. Peter lifts them up and says, “What are these?” as he pointed to the ice packs. I explained that are ice packs you put in your freezer. He doesn’t have electricity, he doesn’t have a freezer and he most assuredly has never seen an ice pack. They sat for 1 hour and 45 minutes on hard, no back benches. I think I am getting spoiled. They loved discovering the word for themselves. The clapped when I get them a notebook. We answered 40 questions about Philippians 1:3-6 that they came up with on Tuesday. It was a rich, wonderful study. After it was over, I sat there for a while… I didn’t want to be rude and leave right away. But in their culture, no one leaves until the teacher leaves. So, we just waited for awhile and finally my cultural ignorance became clear. We all laughed. On the way out, I am stared at by many kids who then go crazy when I take a picture of them. As I get my car ready, there is a stream winding down the hill, with trash covered on both sides. A little boy is fishing. As I am driving out, a man yells “Give me 20,000 kwacha.” Just another day at Inductive Bible StudyJ
Oh, one last thing. Ironically, the discussion today centered around this idea of partnership in the gospel. Paul thanks the Philippians for their partnership in the gospel, and I think of those who are supporting us here. We are in this together and we appreciate, need, and are so indebted to you for your support!!!