A unique day
April 16, 2008, 7:19 am
Filed under: campus ministry, culture, friends, India, inter::mission, Seattle, social action

Yesterday will certainly go down as one of the more memorable experiences of my life.  It began with two heroes and ended with another.  I’ll try to be brief.

I already mentioned the Seeds of Compassion event that took place in Seattle over the past several days.  Yesterday was the final day, which was an emphasis on interfaith expressions of compassion.  Jim Henderson was kind enospring 014ugh to send me an invite to an invitation only prayer breakfast with the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.  (The picture to the right has Jim in the foreground, and Archbishop Tutu hanging out behind him).  It was held in a hotel ballroom with a couple hundred folks.  Quite surreal to be sitting a few tables away from these two men who have both made enormous sacrifices and been bold in opposing powerful forces.  The room was buzzing with energy as they sat on stage, poking fun at each other like old college roommates.  Their humor was disarming and delightful. 

Following this time, everyone headed over to the UW campus, where an interfaith panel answered some questions.  The Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu were joined by some representatives of multiple streams of faith – I’d drop some names here, but I don’t have time to do any of them justice.

There were some more activities over at the Seattle Center in the afternoon which I was unable to attend.  But then the day ended with an Off The Map sponsored event, which was an evening with some of the panel participants.  Again, I’d name drop, but that would take some extra time.  Perhaps later, I’ll drop links on all the amazing people Ispring 009 shared air space with.  For now, the one name I’ll mention, is Sunil Sardar, who finished the event last night (the picture on the left is Sunil being interviewed by Jim Henderson).  He, too, has endured much in the face of opposition.  Like the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu, he has done so on behalf of others, and has created a movement.  Sunil hasn’t become a globally recognized rock star for his efforts, but he has been a powerful force for liberation in India.  His wife, Pam, also has made many sacrifices – even getting kicked out of the country.  They do so on behalf of the hundreds of millions who have no voice, simply because of the caste system.  As I’ve mentioned here, at the end of the school year, some of the participants in inter::mission will travel to work with Sunil and his team for a couple of weeks.  I was delighted that everyone on the trip was able to meet Sunil and Pam last night, just to get a little taste of what’s ahead.   

No way to do any of the above justice here.  Perhaps as I have time later today and tomorrow, I can unpack a little of it here.  For now, I’ve got to get ready for a little social experiment we’re doing on campus today . . . highlighting the oppression of caste in India.  More on that, too, later.


2 Comments so far
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[…] Steve Lewis […]

Pingback by Off The Map » An Evening With Rob Bell

Nice synopsis Steve

Comment by Jim

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