Biblical Equality in Action -- By: Bill Leese

Journal: Priscilla Papers
Volume: PP 04:2 (Spring 1990)
Article: Biblical Equality in Action
Author: Bill Leese

Biblical Equality in Action

Bill Leese

J. J. Leese

A report on a round-the-world year of “learning by doing,” from two dedicated members and supporters of CBE, both students at Fuller Theological Seminary.

We give special thanks for the encouragement and prayer support from those back home—a support that has uplifted us during moments of frustration and potentially devastating mishaps.

In Calcutta alone, both of us suffered from acute amoebic dysentery and twinges of homesickness. Bill’s passport, airline tickets, and traveler’s checks were stolen during a violent rush while boarding a train. (Where we reported this incident, the police officer asked whether it was “just violent” or “truly violent, with cuts and bruises.” Oh, Calcutta!)

Upon arrival, we naively believed our travel guide book which claimed an over-abundance of accommodations for travelers to Calcutta. But as late as 11 p.m., after checking dozens of full hotels, we began to face the prospect of joining the thousands who sleep on the pavement However, in all these experiences God brought salvation—and taught a few lessons! Our passport was restored, a hotel found, medicine procured, and even new-found friends helped ease homesickness. We felt your support during these times.

A typical day during our four weeks in Calcutta began by rolling out of bed at 5 a.m. During our twenty minute daily walk to “Mower Teresa’s House,” we waded through the garbage and human feces scattered on the streets, stepping around the dozens of street sleepers lining the way. This area of town is predominantly Muslim, so as we walked we heard the eerie chant of their first morning prayer (one of five daily prayers) being broadcast by loudspeaker throughout the neighborhood.

Upon arrival at the Missionaries of Charity center, we were greeted at the door by a smiling sister clad in a white sari trimmed in blue. We had expected the morning mass to be a tranquil, quiet time. Instead, the sisters start each day in meditation requiring exceptional concentration, because a full row of windows deliberately open their chapel to an orchestra of “music” from the street below. Honking, muffler-less trucks, rickshaw bells, children playing, shrill police whistles, cows lowing as they pull carts—these and other noises are the background for the morning prayers and worship. But by this method Mother Teresa teaches her staff (and us too) that real love for God must be lived out in love for those around us. And so, over the sounds of the street, the sisters sing in sweet a capella unison of God’s compassion for a hurting world. We find we now miss those strangely “quiet” moments of being filled with joy, a necessar...

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