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Vietnam je dežela v Aziji, kjer dejavnosti na področju mladinske pastorale Skupnosti Emanuel naravnost cvetijo. Že precej let v Saigonu poteka Abram (ki je, mimo grede, slovenska pogruntavščina), v poletnih mesecih pa poletni forum zbere vsakič več ljudi. O teh in drugih obetavnih stvareh sem večkrat slišal, že dosti prej. Ko pa sem postal odgovoren za mladinsko pastoralo, me je moja prva pot precej spontano vodila prav tja. Čakale so me najrazličnejše stvari. Srečal sem se z mladimi, ki so mi pripravili pohajkovanje po mestu s skuterji. Nato pa še srečanje z lokalnimi odgovornimi in z mladinsko ekipo. Predvsem pa udeležba na poletnem srečanju za mlade v Da Latu, do koder smo zaradi oddaljenosti potovali z letalom. Povsem na koncu mojega delovnega obiska sem si lahko privoščil še par dni brez pretiranega programa. Že pot sama me je zdelala, pa časovni zamik, nad vsem tem pa še številna delovna srečanja. Skratka, dovolj razlogov, da sem si po uradnem delu potovanja omislil nekaj malega turizma.

Moji gostitelji so vztrajali, da moram na jug dežele, na obširno območje delte reke Mekong. Predstavljal sem si sicer, da to pomeni tudi nasičen in na trenutke kičast turistični paket. Prejel sem sicer točno tisto, kar sem pričakoval: bil sem eden mnogih turistov, ki na pladnju prejemajo različne (več ali manj posrečene) teatralne domislice. Ampak dobro, ta vidik sem preprosto odmislil oz. se z njim povsem spoprijateljil. Za nek določen čas sem bil pač še en v reki mnogih.

Po drugi strani pa mi je reka Mekong zvenela izredno privlačno, tako zaradi otroških filmskih spominov, kot tudi nekaterih ur geografije, od katerih nisem odnesel dosti več od tega, da sem reko poznal po imenu. Za izlet proti delti smo dobili prijetno ohlajen avtobus, kar je v tistem podnebju izredna dobrina. Zraven pa še mladega vodiča, ki je vidno užival v svojem delu. Program je vseboval rečno barko, vožnjo s čolničem po namakalnih kanalih, pokušine vsega možnega od sadja do mesa, obisk templja, nenazadnje pa tudi številne možnosti pogovora z vodičem, budistom, kot mi je povedal. In ravno on je poskrbel za tisti ekstra trenutek.

Preden smo šli na ogled enega izmed najstarejših budističnih templjev v tistem okolišu, nas je želel nekoliko uvesti v budizem. Dobra ideja, sem si rekel. Naredil je precej všečno in ravno prav strnjeno predstavitev. V nekem trenutku pa nam je postavil vprašanje: Kdo je buda? Nek so-turist na avtobusu je precej hitro odgovoril: bog. Deloval je precej prepričljivo in skoraj ponosno, da je kot popoln tujec vendar tako dobro poznal odgovor.  Pri sebi sem se kratko nasmejal: Dragi gospod, na žalost je to napačen odgovor. Rečem nič, temveč počakam na odgovor našega vodiča. Takrat je prišla lekcija, ki me je raznežila, da sem si rekel: le kdo ne bi hotel biti kristjan? Potem, ko je vodič v grobem in po azijsko zelo olikano odgovor opredelil kot napačen, je nadaljeval s svojim razmišljanjem, rekoč: buda je samo učitelj, bog je pa resnica; k budu ne moreš moliti, boga pa lahko prosiš; buda ti ne more pomagati, medtem ko je bog odrešenik. Vodič je pritegnil vso mojo pozornost, ker je v končni fazi razumel vse. Bude vsekakor ne poznam tako dobro kot on, predvsem mi manjka verska praksa. Še nikoli v življenju nisem delal resnejše primerjave, kot jo je naredil on. Vsekakor pa kot kristjan njegov odgovor ne samo sprejmem, temveč v njem celo vidim izredno duhovno zrelost. Še najbolj pa me je prevzel mešan občutek ponosa in miru. Ponosa, ker je torej biti kristjan zmagovito. Le kdo ne bi hotel biti? Imeti Boga, ki je resnica, h kateremu se lahko zaupno zatekaš in ki je tvoj odrešenik … to je vendar zmagovita izbira! Potem pa tudi občutek miru, ker me je preplavilo zadovoljstvo, da sem na pravem mestu. Da sem doma.

English

A Buddhist on Christianity

Among Asian countries, Vietnam is the one where young adults’ activities are thriving the most. School of charity and mission (which started in Slovenia under the name of Abram) has been taking place in Saigon for many years, and in the summer months, the forum gathers more and more people. Often times I’ve heard about these and other promising things before. However, when I became in charge of youth pastoral, it was pretty clear that my first ministerial trip led me right there. During the visit, all sorts of things were waiting for me. I met young people who accompanied me while roaming the city on scooters. A meeting with local leaders and the youth team followed. Above all, I participated in the summer forum in a town called Da Lat. We flew over there because of the distance. Right at the end of my working visit, I could afford a few more days without a precisely scheduled program. The journey itself made me tired, adding to being jet-lagged, and above all, there were many meetings. In short, enough reasons for me to imagine a bit of tourism after the official part of the trip.

My hosts insisted that I go to the south of the country to the Mekong River Delta’s vast area. I thought this also meant a saturated and, at times, kitschy tourist package. I received exactly what I expected: I was one of the many tourists to whom the industry offers various and mostly theatrical attractions on the way. But well, I simply ignored this aspect and almost befriended the concept. For a while, I was just another one in the river of many, and it wasn’t that bad.

On the other hand, the Mekong River sounded highly appealing to me, both because of my childhood movie memories and geography classes, of which I didn’t take away much more than knowing the river by name. We got a pleasantly cooled bus for the trip to the delta, which is an excellent good under that climate. There was also a young guide who visibly enjoyed his work. The program included a riverboat, a boat ride through the irrigation canals, tastings of everything from fruit to meat, a visit to the temple, and last but not least, many opportunities to talk to a guide, a Buddhist, as he told me. And it was he who made me live that extra moment.

Before we went to see one of the oldest Buddhist temples in that area, he wanted to introduce us to Buddhism a bit. I thought that was a good idea. He made a rather lovely and just rightly concise presentation. At one point, however, he asked: Who is a Buddha? One of the co-tourists on the bus answered pretty quickly: god. He sounded pretty convincing and almost proud to be a complete stranger and yet so well educated in giving the answer. I laughed inside of me: Dear sir, unfortunately, this is the wrong answer. I say nothing but instead, wait for our guide to respond. His answer was a real lesson to me, thinking: Who wouldn’t want to be a Christian in the whole world? After defining the answer as wrong, the guide continued with his reflection, saying: Buddha is only a teacher, and God is the truthyou cannot pray to Buddha, but you can talk to GodBuddha cannot help you while God is the Savior. The guide caught my full attention because he ultimately understood everything. I certainly don’t know Buddha as well as he does, as I especially ignore its religious practice. I have neither made a careful comparison which he just did. In any case, as a Christian, I not only accept his answer but even see in it an extraordinary spiritual maturity. Most of all, I was overwhelmed by a mixed sense of pride and peace. Pride because being a Christian is winning the day. Like, who wouldn’t want to be? To have God who is the truth, to whom you can turn in confidence, and who is your Savior… this is an absolute victorious choice! Then there was the feeling of peace because I was overwhelmed with satisfaction that I was in the right place. I would call it home.

This entry was posted in Blogi.
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