As far as engaging topics, Sunday left much to be desired. I also found it unfortunate that Sunday's morning session of worship and devotion didn't feel any different to the business of the previous days, so that the sense of corporate Sunday worship was absent.
The morning devotion touched again on poverty and the different biblical definitions or facets thereof, such as poverty from Laziness, poverty from Disaster, poverty from Exploitation, and poverty from Personal Sacrifice. Perhaps the conclusions could be stated thus:
- we must resist the temptation to generalise – i.e. to assume that a person is poor by their own fault.
- we must not glamourise poverty – i.e. especially those in poverty can idolise it and expect that it exempts them from being generous or merciful towards others
- God certainly cares deeply for those in poverty.
- Using the illustration of a man stuck in a pit and another man trying to help him out, identify where the "ladder" lies. If it's in the pit, let the victim work themselves out. If the ladder is lying on the ground above, let the helper set the ladder down
I and Chris Wood (Waterfall Baptist, Durban) decided to skip the BU lunch and went to a harbour in Fishoek instead for some local fish and chips. The town was buzzing with people, and we found a cramped take-away/restaurant (Kalkies) that served huge portions of hake and chips. What made the meal remarkable, was that a Muslim gentleman asked if he could sit with us, because his family couldn't all fit at the table behind us (what with his 2 wives!). We had good engaging conversation but neither Chris or I found an entrance to talk about the gospel. Nonetheless, it revived in us a sense of God's providence, bringing that man to our table, and also the sense that ultimately the best witnessing with a man like this (very religious in his Islam) would be through relationship. Naturally, after the time, you think of things you could've said to direct the conversation a bit more. The more we have these encounters, the better.