I think it’s 5:15 a.m. but I’m not sure because my electronic devices both inexplicably say 6:49. Barking dogs and a bird with a screech between a rooster and a peacock woke me before the alarm. We arrived around midnight, greeted at the airport by a crowd of friends from Myanmar Institute of Theology plus John Gravley of Central, who had arrived earlier in the day. They unfurled a “Welcome Central Baptist Seminary” banner, grabbed all the luggage, and put us into cars for the 5 minute drive to Myanmar Life Hotel.
It’s a gracious place – rooms are large and furnished with ornately carved wooden chairs, the wooden floor is cool on bare feet and packets of Nescafe instant coffee, heavy on sweetener and powdered cream are arranged on a tray.
Our gracious MIT hosts pick us up at 6:45 this morning for a lecture at the school on Buddhist meditation followed by a visit to a monastery and the golden centerpiece of the city, Shwe Dagone Pagoda. At the end of each day, we’ll gather for theological and other reflection on the day asking, Where did we encounter God? and What am I learning about God’s kingdom and purpose for the world?
To be honest, I knew not what to expect of my Seminary experience. Sure I had heard great things about Central, but what I encountered was beyond what I imagined. To begin, every professor I encountered was an absolute expert in the field willing not only to share his or her knowledge but also nurture each student to grow in areas of challenge. It is because of the faculty’s excellent pedagogical skills that today I am confident enough to attend to God’s call in all settings. Currently, I work to help each individual see their God-given beauty and then bring outward in a traditional or non traditional setting in hopes of building God’s kingdom.