International Ministries

“It Tastes Like Chicken”

April 16, 2011 Journal
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Dear Friends,

I was invited recently by some new aboriginal friends in outback Australia to go “bush tuckering.” This means heading into the scrub to look for grub.  All of the items they ate for centuries before the coming of Europeans are still to be found for those who know and can see them.  They say, “The bush is our supermarket, and everything is on sale!”

Our friends picked “bush bananas” from a vine that was growing on a small eucalyptus bush.  They found “bush tomatoes” on another vine close to the ground.  Inside an object that looked something like a wasp’s nest, was a small edible portion, and this they called a “bush coconut.”  They found sweet berries.  We did not find “bush potatoes” but we did find and they managed to capture a large lizard, or goanna.  One lady, sitting on the ground by a campfire, made a small slit in the upper chest of the goanna, and deftly removed the entrails.  I wanted to call it “bush arthroscopic surgery!”  Roasted in the fire, no joke, it tasted like chicken! We sat under a tree and had a picnic of “bush tucker.”

Jesus only left two symbols of our unity in Jesus Christ.  Baptism is one, and table fellowship where we specifically and intentionally remember his life and death for us, is the other.  Nothing communicates love and acceptance like sitting down and eating together, whether it is in a home, in church, at a restaurant, or sitting in the dust under a tree.

What, it is fair to ask, has this to do with my work? Each year I teach prospective, new and returning cross cultural workers in Australia.  Most principles are the same, regardless of the ethnic group in which we minister, and this time I was asked to be with the team leaders (husband and wife) of the Australian Baptist’s work with the “First Australians” (aborigines).  The vision statement for the Australian Baptist mission agency is “Empowering communities to develop their own distinctive ways of following Jesus.”  So in line with this vision, my job is to be a pastor and strategist for missionaries and development workers.  Thank you for your prayer and financial support that enables me to be a partner in helping people come to know Jesus.

Yours in Christ,

Walt White

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