Thursday, December 24, 2009

I'm dreaming of a Green Christmas.....

...just like the ones I've never known
where the banana trees are drippin'
and the Thompson's are wishin'
to be, back home in the snow

I'm dreaming of a wet Christmas
with every blog post that I write
may your days be merry and dry
and may all your Christmas's be White

It doesn't really seem like Christmas since it's 75 degrees outside and we haven't seen a flake of snow since last march, but I guess we will just have to suffer through it :)
Please pray for us and our feelings of home sickness as we spend our first Christmas without our families. Even more importantly please pray that the people in America, PNG, and all around the world would celebrate the truth of the Christmas rather than materialism.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Who is John Rambo?

If you ask a Papua New Guinea native, who is John Rambo? some will tell you that he is a film maker who came to Papua New Guinea to make a documentary. Others may only know that he is a film maker. So why ramble on about this John Rambo guy? Well... apparently I am easily mistaken for the man known as John Rambo from the 1980's blockbusters Rambo 1 through 4. I haven't gotten a hair cut for a while and being a big white person has lead to the idea that I not only look like him but could be mistaken for Sylvester Stallone (the actor who plays John Rambo). Just this morning a man near the grocery store approached me, shook my hand, and said good morning John Rambo. It wasn't a question at all, he sincerely thought that I was the one and only Rambo. It took a little convincing from Rachel that I was not Rambo, and that I just looked like him.

An interesting note is that the people here can not wrap their mind's around the idea that Rambo is only a character being played by an actor, and if he is real it must be a documentary. Also the setting for the Rambo movies is in the jungle, and to some nationals if it looks like a PNG setting it must be in PNG.

The man near the grocery store was not the first to mistake me for John Rambo, people from far away bush churches who have extremely limited access to TV and movies have seen the resemblance. In the more remote area's of the country their are small huts called picture house's where someone has acquired enough money to get a generator, a tiny TV, and an old used VHS player. In these huts they charge a little money for people to watch an old VHS from America and apparently Rambo 1, 2, 3, and 4 are very popular. So everyone seems to have seen at least one Rambo movie.

At first I didn't mind people thinking I was Stallone, in fact it was quite flattering since he is ripped in all the pictures I've seen (I looked at plenty of pictures on Google images of Stallone denying any resemblance to the seeming dim witted actor). But the more I hear from people saying hello John Rambo..., the more I worry about them always identifying me as the man who looks like Rambo rather than the man who preached that sermon or who helped build that home in the name of God. Those are the impressions that I want to leave on the people here, not that I look like a guy from a movie.

The thought of pretending that I actually am Rambo did cross my mind. I thought that maybe they would be so impressed with the heroism of Rambo that they would respect me so much that they would hang on every word I had to say about God and salvation. But I pretty sure God doesn't want our evangelism to be through or based on a lie.