A wise mission mobiliser was once asked what the best way to do mission overseas was. He then told this parable.
Fred the Aussie sought to know how to cook Nasi Goreng (fried rice). So he went to the local Chinese restaurant where they advised him to use mini prawns and bacon. Upon returning the restaurant with an attempt of their recipe, they were impressed (although they gave him some more tips on how to make it better).
He travelled to Bali where they said that although the Chinese restaurant's way was good, it did not have nearly enough chilli. They invited their friends around to help him work out how to cook the best fried rice - and laughed together as he messed it up.
Travelling to Java, they were horrified that he would even think of using bacon in fried rice. The best fried rice, they assured him, used a special sauce made out of papaya with just a little chicken. They were amazed that a foreigner would try to cook their recipe.
Fred continued his travels, visiting Thailand, Korea, Japan, and even across to Africa. Each place he went assured him that they had the way to make fried rice - and yet each of their recipes and means of cooking was different. He came home and here is what he realised...
- There is no one way of cooking fried rice - and in fact some ways are offensive in some contexts, while great in another.
- When someone tells you how to make 'their' fried rice, there is great pride and they are honoured.
- Using someone's own fried rice recipe with them will always have more effect than using someone else's.