Thursday, July 9, 2009

Day 190- Cultural Issues

Today I witnessed to a man who clearly did not grow up in the States. To avoid being culturally offensive, I observed his body language. I began a conversation by handing him a tract. I greeted him several feet away but noticed that he would back away as I moved in closer. I respected his boundaries for the remainder of the conversation. I also noticed that he would stand with one leg forward while his hands were grasped behind his back. To avoid any type of offense, I began to mimic his posture. His English was limited, but he was able to communicate that his works would get him to heaven. I shared the gospel and afterward tried to assess if he understood the message. I asked him if he believed a good Buddhist could get to heaven, and he told me no. I questioned why not and he began to laugh. I spent a moment wondering if he understood what I had asked or if he was laughing to avoid the question. I then looked him in the eyes and said, "Jesus." His laughter shifted to a serious agreement. "No one will go to heaven unless they are trusting in Jesus. Not by their good deeds, but by Jesus." He replied, "Yes, I understand." I tried to think of a culturally appropriate way to exit, but could only think of a handshake. I reached out my hand, and he grabbed my fingers. If he was an American I would have asked for a re-shake, but as I walked away it was rather clear that we were both learning.

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