Why do we travel to other countries to share our lives? Is it because we think our way is better than theirs? Or because we are driven by guilt or obligation?
In fact relationship is the key. God works through relationship and in today’s world, relationships can take us anywhere on the planet.
The beauty of a relationship with people and communities in other countries, particular where there is a crossover from developed to developing, is that we learn that our way of life is not the only one, that material benefits are over-rated but yet a privilege, and that putting ourselves in another person’s world is often a pre-requisite for sincere love.
While waiting for a friend on a Bali street, a driver came and chatted with me, hoping I needed his services. When I explained I didn’t, he accepted this politely and we continued to talk.
He pointed out his little blue van, slightly battered, that was his source of livelihood. As a taxi stopped and picked up some Europeans (“Dutch”, my Balinese acquaintance informed me), he pointed to the car which was part of a very large taxi company.
“If you spend money with a big business like that it’s like pouring water into the ocean. If you spend money with a family business like mine, it means we can cook tomorrow.”
We shook hands and parted company. Who assisted who?