Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Missionary Secrets 2: life is not as exciting as it seems
Am travelling at the moment, and so do not have children running my life for a few brief days. After smoking hooka and reading for a while outside and enjoying the fine weather of this perfidious city, I thought I would drop by the local mosque. Which worked out well since they were issuing the call to prayer: "Come to fulfillment....come to prayer." Wonderful words, if I do say so myself.
After standing at the mosque door and signing to some guy there I said, "I'm a Christian, but would like to see how you prayer." I have done this once before, but that was some time ago. They had no problem with that, so I took my shoes off and sat outside the door of the prayer room and watched them do their short prayers. I enjoyed chatting afterwards with some of the men coming out. And there were only men, as this mosque had no women's room. But sure enough, some 30 or so men piled in and prayed and left.
In the Arab world if you can get 30 Christians together once a week for worship you are doing pretty good. And here were 30 guys on a Tuesday evening coming in.
Chatted with the imam's dad (nice) and the young imam (not so nice). Wanted to ask about the crucifixion in the Qur'an but really felt it was not right at the moment, and so I left and said, next I'm back in X I will come and visit you all, God willing. Yes, they said, God willing. The men outside the mosque were friendly and all waved to me. All in all it was much more welcoming than visiting a church, I'm sad to say.
This is the sort of thing that sounds exciting to non-missionaries, but to me it is not very exciting. It was not a big disappointment either. It was just normal missionary life: after reading, eating, a couple of interviews, evening prayer (at a Christian church), and so on.
Missionary Secrets 2: missionary life is not that exciting most of the time.