I headed out to Singapore this past Sunday through Monday to meet up with the group of people who are the core group of the new church plant that we want to launch soon. Even though our time is short, I try to lay down the foundation of this church plant by studying the Bible together and also praying together. We also try to build relationships with one another as we fellowship with food. It was encouraging to see some pre-Christians who came out to the gathering because of the relationships that our HMCC alumni have been building.
After our gathering, we all decided to head out to Chinatown and have some good Chinese food. To our surprise, they had a lot of different activities and events going on due to the height of the Chinese New Year. We saw everything from a motor vehicle float presentation to a traditional Chinese dragon dance.
As I was taking in the sights and sounds, one of our alumni gave me a quick Chinese History 101. He explained why the Chinese do some of the traditions and gave further insights to the mentality of the Singaporean Chinese.
I am just amazed how our experiences and our history determine how we behave today. One thing I have noticed very clearly is that in the Asian culture a lot of things are about prosperity, success, safety, and wealth. All too often, these facets are linked together.
In order for Asian people to really live out the Gospel, we might have to abandon certain mindsets that have been ingrained in us through various cultural traditions and expectations; or shall I say, we will have to “redeem” them for Christ.
This is the Dragon Dance where he throws out things to the crowd for prosperity
A Singaporean dish called Yu-Sheng, where everyone mixes the food together and wishes each other prosperity and good fortunes
The largest Buddhist Temple in Singapore where people go to ask for good fortunes and prosperity