About 70 participants in the annual conference of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches were “on mission” Monday night as they visited a Hindu temple.
“Once you enter the complex, you will be in their cultural setting,” said Jay Bell of Grace Brethren International Missions, who arranged the trip. “A most important skill for entering a new culture is to learn to go in as a ‘learner.’ The agriculture metaphor of the New Testament is very helpful for us. When entering a new culture we want to learn all about the soil … their soil. God is giving us a unique opportunity to learn about Asian culture and their belief systems from the people themselves. It’s one thing to read a book on world religions, but it is quite different to have an opportunity to interact with the ‘devotees’ in person.”
Members of the temple discussed their beliefs, answered questions, then gave a guided tour of the temple. The also served a simple vegetarian meal.
On Wednesday, conference participants have the opportunity to visit a Buddhist temple. The conference continues at Tampa, Fla. though Thursday night.