Paul Dunn, NZBMS Communication Specialist, Peter Mihaere, NZBMS General Director, and Mark Jackson, Media Producer, are on a media tour throughout Asia. It’s Paul’s first such trip; he shares some initial thoughts.
It’s true what they say: it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity. South East Asia hits you like a blanket, hot and prickly, the air thick as you move through it in the crush of people. And this is winter.
As the media trip approached, I struggled to keep my preconceptions at bay. I’ve been to Asia before; I recall the sights and sounds and the smells. But it’s hard not to set expectations when something as big as this is on the horizon.
Hitting the ground in Thailand helped dispel many illusions. Filming in a tight timeframe is hard work, and trying to work through the language barrier is a bigger challenge than I imagined. Everyone was patient with ‘the new guy,’ though, and we managed to get some great material on tape. The Thai people are lovely, gracious and gentle, and very accommodating. The staff we’ve met with have been really encouraging too, and a joy to work with. I’m doing more than surviving; I’m loving this experience.
But this is just the beginning. Four more weeks stretch ahead of us, and four more countries to acclimatise to. New languages, new locations, new people and situations await. I have no idea what it’s going to be like and that does make me a little nervous.
However, I have the privilege of travelling with seasoned pros and meeting with incredible people who have taken up the call, not just to visit but to live in these places, serving these communities. I’m thankful for the opportunity to see them on their turf and learn more about what God is doing in their midst.
It’ll still be hot and noisy and crowded, I know that. Waiting in airport terminals will not get any more exciting. There’ll be plenty more ‘interesting’ food choices in the days ahead. But I’m looking forward to it. I’ll let you know how it worked out in four weeks’ time.