Our lives became our witness by ProQuest


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									                                                                                 Canadian Mennonite February 22, 2010                   7

a friend invited me to join the throngs
gathered on the banks of the Mekong
River to pay tribute to the life that the
river provides by saying a prayer and
setting afloat a candle on a tiny banana
leaf raft. Later that night, I recorded the
memories of this poignant experience in
my journal:
   “When we’ve eaten our fill and basked
in the glow of the moonlight and candle-
light long enough, we go to the edge of
the barge, slide onto our stomachs and
reach far, far down to the water below, to
release our newly lit candles. This festival
is held in honour of a religion not my
own, but its beauty has moved me. As I
                                 watch my
                                 candle float
  I found myself                 around the
completely at the                barge and
                                 out of sight,
  mercy of what                  I pray pas-
    my Buddhist                  sionately to
                                 the Creator
   friends would                 God I know,
  share with me                  thankful for
                                 and inspired
     or invite me                by the radi-
    to experience                ance of this
       with them.                   I would
                                 never have
had this beautiful learning experience if
my friend had not chosen to include me
even though she knew I did not share her
belief system.
                                                 Jessica Reesor, back row centre, poses with some of the Buddhist friends she made
Lesson 2: Seek first to                          while in Laos with Mennonite Central Committee’s Serving and Learning Together
understand the other’s faith                     program.
A few weeks later, in a hotel room in

                                                               Our lives became
Bangkok, another Buddhist friend pulled
a copy of the Teachings of the Buddha
from the desk drawer, laid it beside the
Gideon’s Bible and said simply, “Tell me
about your faith and then I will tell you
about mine.” During this long night of
mutual sharing we came to understand
                                                                  our witness
each other’s faith on a much deeper                                          By Vic tor A . Dorsch
level, for the more we learned about each

other’s faith, the better we could explain                 ur journey of letting our        pioneer missionaries. In orientation we
our own. l                                                 lives become our witness in      were told that Somalia was 99.9 percent
                                                           a country whose religious        Muslim, where it was illegal to give a
Jessica Reesor is a peace and conflict           faith was different than ours began in     verbal witness of our faith. We were
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