MISSION  3'?m2f Do missionaries impose their culture on others?

(scene: a waiting room, or six chairs side-by-side facing

LIZ -- (enters carrying small numbered card, looks around, sits
in end chair)

AMY -- (enters carrying small numbered card, looks around) They
said to take a number (holds up card) and have a seat. Am I in
the right place?

LIZ -- You waiting for a passport?

AMY -- Yes.

LIZ -- (holds up card) Me too.

AMY -- (Sits in middle chair) I'm number 78. I hope I don't have
to wait for seventy-eight other applicants.

LIZ -- No. (points to exit) See? It says now serving number 76.
I'm number 77. I guess I'm next.

AMY -- Oh, good.

LIZ -- So, where are you going?

AMY -- I'm going on a mission trip to Africa!

LIZ -- Me too!

AMY -- Well, maybe we'll see each other there.

LIZ -- I doubt it. Africa is a pretty big place. Say, I hope
you're not one of those pushy missionaries.

AMY -- Pushy? I'm not sure I know what you mean.

LIZ -- I mean, in the past, some Bible thumping missionaries
have robbed the natives of their culture. You know, they forced
western culture on them.

AMY -- Oh, I would never do that. I don't think you can even
reach people for Jesus unless you learn THEIR culture and...

LIZ -- ...See? You're doing it already.

AMY -- What do you mean?

LIZ -- I mean you're not even in Africa yet and already you're
talking about Jesus.

AMY -- I'm going to be a missionary. What else do you want me to
talk about?

LIZ -- Well, OUR church just serves the natives and meets their

AMY -- I don't understand. You're representing a church, but
you're not going to talk about Jesus?

LIZ -- We would never impose our religion on the natives. They
have their own religion. It's part of their culture and their

AMY -- Well, then just how are you going to serve them and meet
their needs without bringing about some kind of change?

LIZ -- Practical things. You know, we give them medicine. We
teach them sanitation. Things like that.

AMY -- But the natives already have medicine and sanitation. I
can't think of any tribe on earth that doesn't have a medicine
man or a shaman.

LIZ -- Well, yes, but, our medicines and sanitation methods are
so much better than theirs.

AMY -- So is our religion. No other religion on earth has Jesus.

LIZ -- Oh, I suppose you're right. But religion is part of their

AMY -- So is their primitive medicine, yet you have no qualms
about showing them how much better yours is.

LIZ -- Oh, I suppose you're right. But our medicine and our
sanitation methods can save their lives.

AMY -- So can Jesus. Can your medicine and sanitation methods
cause the natives to live FOREVER?

LIZ -- Oh, I see what you mean. Oh, wow! Our church has really
been short-changing the natives, hasn't it?

AMY -- Well, maybe your church doesn't realize just how powerful
their medicine really is.

LIZ -- I think you're probably right. If they think that
medicine and sanitation is more important than living forever,
maybe they're leaving the best medicine at home.

AMY -- Maybe so. (points) Oh, look, your number is up.

LIZ -- Oh. (stands) Well, thanks... for everything. I was going
to leave my Bible at home. (exiting) But, I can see now it's the 
best medicine we can offer.

AMY -- Have a good trip. (point, stands, exits) Oh, my number is
up too.
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