Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bangladesh South Asia

While we have not done anything in Geography or History here at home, our church has been digging into teaching about Bangladesh. We, as a church body, raised enough money through various fund raisers to send our Pastor and one other man to Bangladesh on a Missions trip. Bangladesh is located in South Asia. The people of Bangladesh are Bangali, the language spoken is Bangla. The climate is semitropical and monsoonal. The neighboring country is India. Bangladesh is about the size of Iowa and is low, flat with a largely marshal jungle coastal region on the Northern part of The Bay of Bengal. There is about 156 million people who call Bangladesh home. Muslins make up a great portion of the population, along with Buddhist.  Bangladesh is vulnerable to flooding and drought. 



Flag of Bangladesh

With the Sunday School classes I wanted the class to understand that while we here in the United States have many freedoms including freedom of religion, this is not the case in many countries. Many of the freedoms that we take for advantage, are not the culture of Bangladesh. We discussed that there are many people throughout Bangladesh and the World who have never even heard about Jesus. We then discussed the role of a Missionary. How Missionaries come along side these residents of Bangladesh and give assistance, and aide in time of need.

During Church Service we watched a video clip of a time when Bangladesh flooded from a Typhoon that blew through, the people were denied food that Christian Missionaries brought in due to the fact the food was coming from Christians and because there was a small card with John 3:16 printed upon it. It was very hard to watch thousands of hungry people standing on one side of a rope that the Government had put up to keep them back, while on the other side were rows and rows of bowls filled with rice, fruit and vegetables. The Government had to give a ruling as to if the people could receive this food before it’s distribution. The Government ruled that no they could not eat of this food. This almost created a riot, and all the food sat there just going to waste, it never was allowed to be distributed to the people. I don’t think there is a one of us here in America that could ever imagine being told by our Government officials that we should not except food in time of need, just because of who was giving it to us. I don’t think we can even imagine being told to wait until there was a ruling on the type of assistance we could receive or not receive.

I wanted the children to understand that while many times we consider Missionaries only as those who travel to these third world countries, that we are all truly Missionaries. We looked at ways that we extend help, aide, and share Jesus with those here in our own Country, State and City or Town. We played several games which promoted working together, I think their favorite game was our puzzle hunt. I took two of Selena’s Bible puzzles and numbered the back of each piece and the corresponding place on the board where it fit. I then hid all the pieces in the classroom. The children had to find all the pieces with the older children helping the younger children in this task. Once all the pieces were found we gathered in a circle with the puzzle boards in the center. I randomly called out numbers, the children who had those numbers, (remember we had 2 puzzles, so there would be 2 number 1’s etc.) would then have to decided which puzzle piece went into the specific puzzle board. As they examined the pieces it wasn’t long before the entire group was discussing and helping one another with putting both puzzles back together. They enjoyed this game so much that they wanted to play it again.

We also discussed different ways we see assistance in our everyday lives, such as food banks, clothing banks, and how we can give to those less fortunate then ourselves.  I see already where this has had it’s impact on Selena, as one of our local banks inside a grocery store is doing a animal food drive. She just insisted that we had to contribute to this. She came home and we counted out enough of her coins from her piggy bank, then she went down and purchased one can of cat food, and a box of doggy treats, which she proudly took and placed in the collection box.

I truly feel that by coming together as a church and supporting our Pastor and our friend in their desire to take this journey of a life time has had many rewards for the body of the church. I know it has sure opened the eyes of our children to all the possibilities that lay out there in our world, and community where they can truly help others. Now I am excited for the two men to come home, so we can finish up by listening to everything they experienced. In the meantime we continue to pray for their safety, and that God can use them and even work in them.

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  1. I can very well imagine how the government would refuse an offer of help because of who is offering it. Happened many times back home during Cold War, and I am sure happened here as well, it's just not as well documented. Remember - Beware of Greeks bearing gifts? You might not think of Jesus message as a Trojan horse, but to many people it's unwanted intrusion into their culture and existing religious beliefs.

  2. What great lessons to teach them. It's a shame that they wouldn't accept the food.