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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Break, A Move, and an Enlightened Builder

I was taking a break from the packing and meeting up with my Australian builder friend.
The location was a local coffee shop. The kitchen chopper went a-chopping at the Hainanese Chicken Rice stall and the aroma of coffee was in the air. It was a little too sweet to me, but such is the norm - coffee here are sweetened with condensed milk.
My friend told me that a local organisation had asked him if he could volunteer to build a church in Mongolia. While he is a Christian himself and loves his own church, he told them that it is more important to build basic shelters, schools and hospitals for these people, rather than churches. Also, he feels that it is not necessary to convert anyone, but rather just to live an exemplary life, and if the natives like you, they would want to follow you.
At that point, I realised that some of the architects and builders in the Middle Ages in Europe had lived their life surrendered and as volunteers to build churches. Some did not even live long enough to see their churches complete. In effect, they pledged their life to the church.
"I wouldn't do that to the church," said my friend, "... as I know there is an authority much more powerful than that."

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