Our Asian Access family of national directors had a wonderful time together this past week. The highlight of the week was our excursion on what I call the Typhoon Taxi.
Bangkok, the site for our meeting, is crisscrossed with rivers and canals. Bangkok has also developed an extensive water taxi network to help its residents make their way through what can be a gridlocked road system. The water taxis aren’t fancy, but they are cheap—and they move.
We decided to take one of the main water taxis across town as part of an outing—a chance to get out of our hotel and enjoy some time together. How did we know it was going to pour rain that afternoon? And how did we know that our bus would be trapped in total gridlock just 300 meters from the water taxi station? Welcome to Bangkok.
Not to be deterred, we hopped off the bus and jogged through the downpour to the water taxi station. Fortunately, it was the first stop on the route, so there was room to get on the boat. Not that deterred the dozens of people who continued to board the taxi at every station! In no time, the taxi was jammed to overflowing—allowing us the cozy experience of being squished between our new best friends and the taxi’s engine. It was rainy, humid, hot, and we were jammed in like sardines. Fun in the city!
Actually, the typhoon taxi was a great way to let off steam from an intensive and productive week, focused on sustainability. We’ve been talking about this within Asian Access for years…but it is a sensitive issue, one that can be tough to make real progress.
We were blessed by the advance work of a task force (made up primarily of key Asian leaders in our movement) who prepared our approach to the topic. They took the conversation to an entirely different level: Ownership! We then tackled sustainability in three key areas:
But the emphasis of the task force was the importance of Ownership.
This week marked a milestone for Asian Access. The level of ownership among our leaders rose substantially. By the end of the week, we had set a path toward an interdependent model of sustainability, the initial work to begin over the course of this next year. Check back in with us a year from now to see how we are doing.
Like our ride on the Typhoon Taxi, this journey could be quite an adventure, with unknown twists and turns along the way. Will you pray for us as we walk the trail toward an interdependent, sustainable ministry?
- Read about Asian Access' focus to "Establish a Sustainable Ministry"
- Here's a short clip of the water taxi posted by an A2 colleague...
Taking a "water taxi" in Bangkok with 22 Asian Access friends and 30 other uncomfortably close strangers reminded me of a rush hour train in Tokyo, if it were rocking on water, with a loud engine in front of me hissing, and serious fumes inhaled, for a 20 minute joy ride. I much prefer the train, actually.