Saturday, March 2, 2013

Back from Burma

More than ever, I'm realizing that life is all about relationships. One of the best things about visiting Myanmar is getting picked up at the airport by an LTS alumnus (and his wife! I finally got to meet his beautiful wife this time) who helps me schedule my time, makes sure I get to my hotel alright, rounds up the prospective students for our seminary in Hong Kong, and scouts out the best little Burmese diners in the world. :)

I got to stay at the Royal White Elephant Hotel
this time.

where they do not go all out on their decor.
but they ever so helpfully equip the bathroom with
plastic sandals, which alas, were too small for my feet.

I was excited about the fact that there was a
hotel hairdryer! Until I plugged it in and...
CRASH, pop, BANG a big explosion, busting the cord in two and
killing all the electricity in the room. But not,
thankfully, me.

THIS, this is why I was here. Four women, four men, hoping to enroll in graduate studies at LTS in Hong Kong, in order to strengthen their Christian churches, schools and seminaries back in Myanmar.  They took English
grammar and essay tests, then a short one-on-one conversation with yours truly, who is also in charge of
international scholarships. We have prospective students in New Testament, Old Testament, Pastoral Care, Diakonia (Service), and Theological Librarianship (yup there is such a thing and it's pretty important!)

Afterwards, a delicious restaurant meal waited us.
This is what heaven is gonna be like, with Lal
taking the role of St. Peter with a big welcome meal.
(The vegetables in Myanmar are like none other, and the
shrimp are gee-normous!)
I had a couple of extra hours in the morning (before the double flight back to HK) and
thoroughly enjoyed a leisurely stroll along Inya Lake and along Pyay Road.
Ads and billboards are sprouting up everywhere in this newly "opened" land,
the gods of commerce are flexing their muscle.

February 28, 2013 along Pyay Road.
"Think of the cliche that nobody ever gets to the end of their life and wishes thy had spent more time at the office. It makes good sense, of course, up to a point. But here's a more interesting perspective: At the end of your life, will you wish that you had plunged more of your time, passion, and skills into work environments and work products that helped people to give and receive more love? Can you see a way to answer 'yes' to this question from your current career trajectory?" -- Timothy Keller in Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God's Work p. 206 (Dutton, 2012)

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