Monday, June 17, 2013

Home from China and Myanmar

I’ve just returned from a trip to China and Myanmar (formerly Burma) where I visited two women from my church who are working in those countries.  It was my first trip to Asia, and I was amazed at the difference between Asian countries and African countries.  Since I travel to Africa every summer, I have a pretty good feel for African people and culture.  The difference between the two cultures is stark.

In fact, China and Myanmar are different from each other.  China is basically an atheistic culture and Myanmar is definitely a Buddhist culture.  In both countries I felt a sadness for the people there who are deceived and have placed their trust in false beliefs and idols.  Time and again as I walked through some of the many Buddhist temples, watching men and women bowing down before stone and gold in hopes of gaining merit and appeasing bad spirits, I so wanted to sit down with them and tell them about Jesus and that he has already done what they need in order to go to heaven. 

It reminded me again of how blessed I am to have been born in this country, to a Christian home, and that God in his mercy has chosen to reveal truth to me and give me faith to believe it.  I don’t deserve his salvation any more than those people do, and yet he has removed the blinders from my heart and made it possible for me to place my trust in Christ alone.

We should never take for granted what we have as citizens of the United States, but more importantly, what we have as children of the one true God because of Jesus.  It is a treasure beyond belief, and I want to live in the wonder of who I am because of Jesus.  I don’t have to worship a lifeless idol; I don’t have to work in the hopes of gaining heaven; I don’t have to wonder what the future holds for me.  I have Jesus and that is the most amazing gift ever.  I have two things to do:  Love God with all my heart, soul and mind, and love others as I love myself.