by Jessica Scott - #NPLOKC Church Planting Resident
One conversation with a neighbor turned into an interesting cultural experience. My neighbor is originally from China, and since I spent a semester in China, my mom felt compelled to initiate a conversation with her, during which she called me to join. The next time I was able to see her, she invited me to a gathering at her friend’s house that Sunday, saying that they would be talking about their religions. I eagerly agreed to come, and that Sunday my friend and I met up at the house for this mysterious event.
As we approached the house, a man with a curious look on his face awaited us. I explained my connection, and he warmly welcomed us and asked if we were there to receive the Tao blessing. A little light finally shed upon what we were walking into; so, we entered to a house-full of people, mostly Chinese, enjoying food. The room in the hallway contained an elaborate altar with idols and fruit at the front.
Then came the time for the presentation. For the next hour and a half, a few of the leaders and adherents explained the purpose of the Tao blessing: it is an automatic ticket to the “ultimate heaven,” bypassing the process of reincarnation. They showed us several books and testimonies related to the Tao blessing, explaining that even Christians can receive the Tao since it has nothing to do with religion. The process is simple, and the results are permanent, according to those present. Three times we were asked if we would like to receive the Tao blessing, to which I responded as follow: “I appreciate the offer and the opportunity to learn; however, I am follower of Jesus and He is all I need. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. I cannot add to His work; He is all that is required to be restored to God.”
I had the opportunity to share the Gospel using the Three Circles in response to a diagram explaining reincarnation through four circles. Although there was no apparent response, the experience was enlightening. The concepts of missions were suddenly merged with its practical outworking as we had to determine the way to faithfully present the one Truth of Jesus while also gratefully accepting the hospitality of our hosts.
Nobody can prepare you for all the situations that will be faced when engaging people cross-culturally; it is only in going out, empowered by the Spirit and equipped with God’s Word, that we will be adequately taught how to proclaim the Good New among various cultures.
Jessica Scott is a master's student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. While working full time, Jessica is practicing her studies in real time through the #NoPlaceLeftOKC church planting residency and leading a high school girls small group. Occasionally her conversational mandarin makes ordering a hot pot a little easier.