Change, it is all around us and we hear about it all of the time, especially with this being an election year. I have been observing many of the changes within my new context in S. Asia as well. The least reached generation in the world (ages 10-30) look vastly different than those of the generations before them. The taste and preference of food is also changing as a different variety of restaurants are coming to town. The landscape and the architecture are also amongst the many changes here as life is becoming more modern.
I started to reflect on this the other day when I was walking through town and looked up at a sign in front of the entrance to my neighborhood, which read, "City Name (For security purposes) is Changing." My immediate thought was yes this place is changing, but then I started to reflect on the religious climate here and as to whether or not it is also changing.
People in this area are primarily Hindu and have many gods. Daily you can hear the bells and whistles, smell candles and incense burning all to many false gods. But I have also noticed a change in the way that at least the younger generation perceives this religion.
I had a conversation with a 23 year old male the other day who is a Hindu in the midst of reflecting on all of these changes taking place here. I told him of all of my observations about the changes taking place, especially amongst young people, so I asked him if he thought it had carried over to the religious side of the culture. He looked around to make sure that nobody was listening and then looked at me with a slight grin on his face as he said, "We are all starting to realize that most of it is CRAP."
Now as I am observing all of the changes around me, this is perhaps the most important one to pay attention to as this means that followers of Christ have an open window of opportunity here, especially with this younger generation. If we do not do something within the midst of this change now then S. Asians will likely become like the Japanese and replace this crap with materialism.
Most of these changes that are taking place are good change, especially this perception into Hinduism. But what we as Christ followers do with this change could be detrimental if we do not act now and act quickly in our spread of the gospel and partnering with nationals to plant reproducing churches here. The change taking place here is only of value and good if it results in lives that are changed by Jesus for his name and glory to be spread throughout.