The pilgrims from Central departed Thursday morning at 8:45 on a bitterly cold morning, flew a short hop to Minneapolis, and then embarked on a very long haul to Tokyo. Rosalie Hunt, our traveling companion and resident scholar on all things “Judson” met us there for the seven hour flight to Bangkok. We arrived about 12:30 am on Saturday and stepped into balmy, humid weather. Palm trees fluttered their welcome as we began our sojourn in Southeast Asia.
We are now preparing for a day of visiting historic shrines in Bangkok, learning of ministries with refugees, and sharing dinner with friends of Central in this city. The create students, faculty, staff, and alumnus who are traveling bring open hearts to this experience. With readiness to listen respectfully and the desire to be fully present to those we encounter, we seek to receive the ways that Christ will be present to us in the stranger. As we are strangers here, we seek to learn from the hospitality of those who unstintingly make us welcome.
I asked each pilgrim for a word describing their feelings about the journey. They shared words such as “anticipation,” “expectant,” “open,” “ready,” and “hopeful.” We believe that we have been given a rare privilege to see through the eyes of Asian sisters and brothers their perceptions of the work of God. We trust we will be attentive to all we encounter.