Never Give Up
Yesterday, I felt a bit down and doubted almost everything I was doing. Today, I attended the Breakfast Meeting for Peace Ambassadors and came away with a new boost of energy. No, I did not make any speeches. I even felt quite comfortable just sitting at a table near the back. And I enjoyed the breakfast. I filled a mug with coffee and my kind neighbour went out to refill the water jug on the table. The windows were open, because some people believe that even though it is nearly thirty degrees outside, it will help cool us down in the packed meeting room.
And packed it was. The many tables set up were all full of guests, visitors, members, and Peace Ambassadors.
Some people even took their place at tables outside the main meeting room.
The meeting was posted as Interreligiöses Frühstückstreffen “Relevanz von Kultur und Religion für Frieden” and sponsored by UPF: Die “Föderation für Weltfrieden gemeinsam mit der Familenföderation.
We all had plenty of time to eat and drink and chat and share. Then Peter Haider opened the meeting with an amusing anecdote about Koreans.
Apparently, Koreans do not believe in hell. Their culture is actually controlled by women. Women love their children. Women take care of the household. Women control the family budget. If the devil took a child to hell, the mothers would challenge the devil until he releases them, just to escape the wrath of the mothers.
Ambassador for Peace
He then introduced the first speaker, Dr Mudasser Awan from Pakistan. He told us how he had studied all the Islamic scriptures in Arabic to discover the verses of law and legislation, which it seems have not been available to the non Arabic-speaking world until now.
Next was Joshua Sinclair, a US American author, film director who lives in Austria. As a medical doctor he specialized in tropical medicine, worked in India with Mother Teresa as well as in different parts of Africa. He is also a professor of comparative theology.
We heard that Dr Sinclair has a library of ten thousand books which it would be advisable to peruse. Joshua Sinclair also referred to a number of books and authors in his presentation.
He referred to the Swiss research station seeking the Higgs particle, representing God. He suggested the work of a missionary should be a treasure hunt to find God in the other person, after referring to the abominations of Christian missionary activity where the crucifix was used to beat people to submission, or wipe out native tribes. Then he spoke of his work, The African Warrior King Shaka Zulu
Gottfried Hutter passed his leaflet on honourable peace to attendees and took a few minutes to voice his claim that peace in the Middle East lies in the hands of the Palestinians.
Communication and Culture
I shared the table with people I knew and people I didn’t. Afterwards I spent a few minutes talking and sharing and deepened connections. We heard about the individual aspects of religion and the common aspects of culture; Culture which is communicated. I found when I got out of my own comfort zone and shared I could span a cultural gap. We are here in Austria. This was an interreligious, intercultural meeting.
I was uplifted to hear that my live broadcasts on Facebook have inspired and encouraged another Ambassador of Peace.
I know some people spend all their time at home on the computer in the virtual world. I know others who are always out at meetings, meeting new people every day.
I need a balance. I was grateful for this opportunity to meet with Peace Ambassadors and to be reinforced in my digital outreach.
Four leaf clovers
On the way home, I admired the four-leaf clovers which seemed to be flowering after the winter sleep. After taking my selfie I admit, it may be advisable to check your background before posting spontaneous photos on social media.