Most Americans believe that what they have is the result of hard work. In many parts of the world, people work even harder than we do, but make very little. Here is a great example:
This is manual labor outside my hotel room. The length of this path was about 300 yards. This young man mowed the entire thing with hand clippers. He is paid about $ 4 to $ 5 dollars a day, about the cost of my dinner tonight.
BS from Yangon, Myanmar
I have arrived in Yangon. My journey began on Thursday, at 9:30 in the morning at Orlando International Airport. I was delayed until 4:00 taking off for JFK in New York because of the terrible mid-western storm affecting so many states. The airline suggested that I cancel the Air China portion of the ticket and reschedule on Qatar Airlines for a 9:40 pm departure out of JFK because I probably wouldn't make the original flight anyway. Unfortunately, JFK was deluged with airplanes that had been in the same situation all over the country, and they refused our plane landing at 6:00 p,m. We were then refused landing in nearby Connecticut and finally were able to touch down in Syracuse, NY. At this point I had no idea if it were possible to make the Qatar flight, in fact it didn't look at all promising. Fortunately, we were able to gas up and depart about 8:30 from Syracuse back to NYC, and we finally landed after two go-arounds at JFK around 10:00 pm. My Qatar flight was gone and I was back to square one once again. My goal was to attempt to get to Yangon, Myanmar, before Monday morning so the class could start on time, jet lag or else.
At the Jet Blue desk, I may have met an angel named Sheila who personally took my situation in hand and scheduled me on a flight for Friday departing JFK at noon and arriving in Yangon on Saturday night at 11:00 pm. Most East Asian airlines have very limited schedules on Sunday, so this was truly a blessing. She gave me a voucher for a hotel, a small meal stipend, and off I went into the New York night in my flip-flops and no jacket. How was I to know I would meet old man winter in New York?
Friday noon I boarded Korean Airlines for the 21 hour flight to Yangon, changing in Seoul. I am now in my bed writing this email to you in the wee hours of Sunday morning waiting for the full effects of my jet lad to allow me to sleep. Sometime tomorrow I will get up, go eat something downstairs, and then try to get myself on a reasonable schedule to begin Monday classes. My host told me tonight that he is expecting 60 pastors from the greater Yangon area, at least on this end of it. This is a much bigger number than I expected. If the pastor opens the class to the wives and other teachers (which I hope he does) that number could easily double. We will see what happens. Please begin praying for this new teaching site class. We are expecting God to do great things!
BS from Yangon, Myanmar
I returned from the Congo about 9:00 o’clock Wednesday night by bus. Yes, that will be my last bus trip ever. In case you are still wondering why I am so opposed to bus travel between Rwanda and the Congo, let me offer another explanation on top of what I have already offered. Over one-hundred people were killed in bus related accidents last month. The reason these buses are so dangerous is because of the driver contracts with their companies. They are paid by numbers of trips to and from each week. Some drivers do not sleep for more than a few hours for an entire week! From this point on, I will gladly pay the extra cost of the fifteen minute flight from Changu airport in the Congo to Kigali airport and vise versa.
Today was the long day of this three day seminar. There was more material, more questions, and more intensity. There was a lot accomplished in terms of the passing of sheer information. Africans learn differently than most westerners. They tend to be cerebral in the acquisition of knowledge, but in teaching more than preaching, they need concrete ways to get concepts. They don’t hang on to theory very well at all. I guess that is true of most of us, but I noticed that when I told a personal story to support even the most mundane idea, they would sometimes break out clapping!