On Monday of last week we loaded up a couple vans with people and luggage and headed to Gokarna Forest just outside of Kathmandu where we had the Field Forum meetings. I’m back in kathmandu now and I leave for Kolkata on Monday.
Gorkarna Forest was just crawling with monkeys. They were bold little guys, too. Guards stood around the eating area with meancing, but unloaded, slingshots that they brandished at the monkeys occasionally to keep them in their place.
The Field Forum was great! The meetings were intense and I think we all were struck by the complexity of who we are becoming together as we talk and hope and dream towards partnership in the mission. Yesterday I typed until my fingers were confused on the keyboard, but I think notetaking kept me attentive to the content of hte meetings. Anna, who is the director of programs in Peru sahred a hopeful and inspiring devotional on the theology of partnership. She reminded us to keep it simple and contextualized, like Jesus did with the parables. She mentioned the parable of the yeast. She pointed out that the women of the time understood flour (she also mentioned that Brian Langley knows about flour). She told us about how her heart was set on fire by Jesus for the least among us when she visited Romania and she reminded me of the fire that it is me too. Sweet Anna is hopeful, and I think I can be too.
It wasn’t all hot and heavy though, I really enjoyed meals with smaller groups of the participants. It was incredible to spend time with some of the WMF international staff particularly. I got to meet and spend some time with Patrick and Victoria Samuel, who are kind of like the grandaddy and gradma of WMF, and their daughter Angelene. They are beautiful South Indians who have given themselves to the WMF children’s home in Chennai. Patrick and Victoria explained to me that they are from the very southern tip of Indian–the Bay of Bengal on one side and the Indian Ocean on the other. They described how it is the only place in the world, other than islands and South Africa, where you can watch the sunset and sunrise over the water. It reminded me of how the in the book, when the little prince is having a bad day on his tiny planet he just moved his chair along to see as many sunsets as he wanted.