By Chance Hollowell

The third day after we landed in Chiang Mai part of the team went to a Buddhist temple that hosts a daily “monk chat” where you can sit down and have an open conversation with the monks who are there for training. The monks were open to all the questions we had and were quite friendly.

I think what had the largest impact on me from being at the monk chat was the way they discerned a “good” religion. The monks seemed to judge the rightness or goodness of a religion on how peaceable and how fruitful it was, not just what their sacred writings said, but how peaceably the people who practice it live. The monks brought up times in the Church’s past that reflected violence and disunity or division and used that as grounds to critique the fruitfulness of our belief. This made an impact on me because it reminded me of the importance of our unity and love for one another and how our successes and failures in love and unity impact our witness to the world more than we could ever know.

” ‘I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.’ “

– John 17:20-21

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