While I was in Cambodia, our group did this concert, and I spoke at it. I wasn't really prepared to speak and I had never really spoken through an interpreter before, so that was interesting.
I was asked to do an "altar call" as part of the speaking (asking people if they want to become Christians, and give them a chance to come forward...to the "altar" to make that commitment at that moment). I was pretty uncomfortable with doing that and did not feel great about the way it came out. I was very concerned because I wanted to make sure that people would not be manipulated into doing something that they did not mean or that they did not really want. So, basically, I told them how difficult it is to be a Christian, but in the end 20 people came to the front of the church to become Christians...I guess (I wasn't really sure since I was not sure what the translator said and I could not talk very well to anyone who came forward). I was very overwhelmed with the whole experience, because I generally think it is good when people decide to become Christians...I really believe it is a good choice. But, I didn't feel great about this situation. My friend Mike said to me later that after I do what God wants me to do the rest is up to God. I eventually did feel OK about the whole thing, but obviously not totally great since I am writing this now. Has anyone else ever felt weird like this about something that normally would be a great thing, but for some reason it didn't seem quite right? I guess I am always worried that I am selling a culture rather than a faith. Did the people of Cambodia think that if they came forward they would become rich like us North Americans? Do they equate Christianity and North Americanism? Was I selling something that would end in disappointment? I feel like if people buy into the culture they will be disappointed, if they have faith in God, they will not be disappointed, even though he may not be what they expected.