Mr. Miller and the Great Commission

I had planned to do an update and tell you a bit about the ship that we live on, but I think that'll have to wait a while. Instead, I would like to quickly mention what I've been learning in class. I won't bore you with details, since it's impossible to cram 5 days worth of teaching into one blog post.

We've had Darrow Miller come over to talk to us on the Leadership School, a guy that mainly lectures on worldview. I've heard people mention worldview before, but didn't care that much about it. At uni, someone told us that it's often very difficult to work with villagers in developing countries because they have such a different worldview compared to ours. Now I think I understand a bit better what they meant.

Several African languages (and apparently some Asian ones) lack a future tense. They say that they're "walking backwards into the future". To them, life's about moving closer to their ancestors. You might hear that and say "yeah, that's cool, I've never thought of it that way. It's so interesting with different cultures!". And it is. I love different cultures. But the implications of that statement means that these cultures can never plan, because life is just something that happens to you, not something you can change. The future doesn't exist.

This mindset is not exclusive to developing countries, not at all. It tends to be more common there though, and it's one of the reasons why many of them are still stuck in poverty, no matter how much support goes to them. Many nations and people think of life as something that just happens to you. Some even say "well, if it happens it's because God wants it, so there's nothing I can do about it". Well, the God I follow isn't like that. You can't change everything in life - but you can change some of it.
If you look at life as something that just happens to you, then it doesn't matter what you do. If your life sucks, it will always suck - if that's your worldview. I've heard stories at uni from people who have tried to change the fisheries in poor villages to make their life better, but the only answer they get is "the government doesn't care about us anyway, our neighboring villages destroys everything anyway, so why would we do anything about our situation? It will never change." And that's the problem. If you believe nothing will ever change, why try?

I want to believe that nothing's impossible. I want to inspire people to believe that life can change for the better. I want people to look at their life proudly and say "yes, I really could change my circumstances to the better, no matter what other's said about me". I don't want poverty and corruption to be bigger than God and the creativity of a human mind.

And in case you somewhere read in to this that I hate other cultures and that they're all stupid, you probably have to read it again. Cause that's not what I'm saying. I want to challenge your way of thinking, the way that you solve problems and remind you that we all have the power to inspire others and change the world around us. Poverty is often not an impossible problem, it's a mindset. 

LTS - Decisions

Alright, here we go. I haven’t intentionally avoided updating, but the limited internet access has done it for me. Reason why? We’re on a boat.

Yeah, that’s right. We’re back in Townsville, Australia again. And we’re in YWAM again. For those of you that didn’t read this last time I was away, I’ll just quickly explain what I’m are doing here.
YWAM (Youth With A Mission – or Youth Without Any Money as some people call it) is a Christian mission organisation that you’ll find all over the world. Last time I was here, I did their basic level training school, a DTS. I absolutely loved it and hoped I’d be able to come back one day. Which I now have, since a week back.
Together with Isaac, I’m doing a 3-month school in leadership. Week one has just gone by and it’s pretty intense already. At the moment, we’re learning something that I really badly need, which is how you make decisions. Not a decision as in “should I have a burger or a salad for dinner?” but more as in “what is the best way to see my plan work out?”. I’ve always thought of plans as in “I want to do this, this and this, and then we’ll see what it leads to” but we’re learning to think more as in “what do you want to achieve?” and when you know what you want to achieve and why you want to achieve it, then you can start thinking about how you want to achieve it. I’ve always done it backwards.

Last time I was here, the campus was further out of town, more in the suburbs. Now it’s moved in to the centre of Townsville, to an old TAFE (a type of school) building. It makes quite a big difference. There’s more people around, the beach is closer and there are more rooms than I can count on campus. It’s just... bigger.
Another difference is that I’m not actually living on campus, as I was last time. Instead, me and Isaac are living on the medical ship that belongs to YWAM. This is not the same ship that I went with to Papua New Guinea two years ago, but a newly acquired one. It’s a former cruise ship, and just like the new campus, ginormous compared to the old one. Isaac and I have our own cabin and everything.

Life could be worse. I’m back to one of my favourite places in the world, I’m learning skills that I know I’ll use for the rest of my life, I’m living on a ship in one of the most exciting places to be for a marine biologist, I get to go out for a ginger beer every now and then (a soft drink, not actual beer), I’m back with people I love. It rocks.

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