Sunday, August 1, 2010
Church services abroad can be cultural experience
One of my fondest memories of Belgium is the Saturday evening I spent in Brussels. I went to mass at St. Michael's Cathedral then headed down to the Grand Place for dinner in a sidewalk cafe. The night was marred only by the fact someone tried to break into my hotel room in the middle of the night.
I enjoy touring temples in China, and once wandered upon a Buddhist service in full swing in an ancient temple in Chongqing. Worshippers made room for me beside them. My Chinese wasn't good enough to know what they were saying, but it was still a moving experience for me. I marveled at how the Buddhist priests, in this very old cathedral, adopted modern technology of microphones to broadcast their message. When the service was over, the worshippers broke out snacks and began eating. And I thanked God for allowing me to become lost while walking around Chongqing, otherwise I would have missed out on another wonderful experience.
A plug for me!
If you're planning a trip to China, please visit my website for information or email me if you have any questions. I've also written some mini-guides to travel in Beijing. My Beijing guides are geared to independent travelers, but people with free time on a tour will also find them useful.