It seemed typical enough: Walking down a crowded and hot street, my team partner and I found ten cents on the ground. Happily, I recited a little good luck chant about picking up pennies and I pocketed the golden coin. To our good fortune, just ahead we found another lost ten cent coin; and so naturally, we picked that up too. As we continued to walk, we continued to see more and more abandoned money on the street. Thinking that someone’s wallet had broken, we continued to gather the loose change until we had accumulated a little over a dollar, and went on our way.
Shortly after our find, we ran into one of our other city team members by chance. I excitedly held out our coins and told him about our unusual luck. “You picked that up?!” He said with voice
of disbelief and excitement. “You just stole from the dead! That money was from a funeral procession! Didn’t you see it?”
Absolute horror and shame overwhelmed me. I stood there in the street with a handful of ancestral coins and felt the sudden urge to bury myself under a rock. What a great impression to make during my first week in Asia.
Clearly, I have a lot to learn about this country and the various social customs. Other than my embarrassing and hilarious immersion into Asian culture, things are going well. We have been taking classes to prepare us for the year ahead, and taking time to hear from our God on what needs to change in our own hearts.
We are leaving for our main city tomorrow at 4am, and I’m looking forward to apartment searching and finally getting settled in. Please pray for my team this week that we can get settled in without too much stress. Last year, it took our city two weeks before they were able to get a permanent place. Yikes!
PS. I had mango ice cream yesterday: it was amazing.