Looks like you are using an old version of Internet Explorer - Please update your browser
It was like a tailgate party the locals threw for us. We were out of the jungle living in a coastal city for a short time. Our friends there set up a makeshift table with scrap wood, papaya leaves were laid down for decoration, and platters of food were brought out of the back of the car. It was amazing. I was so tired after eight days of hard work that by the time we got to this party, this gesture of kindness and generosity made it hard for me to not burst into tears.
Here’s the story. The night before this huge party, Mike had come home about 7 p.m. tired and dirty. He and some friends had been working for days on a project. Before he sat down to eat, Mike said, “Our friend wants to butcher a pig and have a feast tomorrow. They are going to divide the meat tonight and thought the boys would want to see.” So we ate fast, changed, and drove in the dark to our friend’s house.
All the while my mind in a whirlwind thinking, “I need to go to the market and buy some greens, and garlic, and peppers, and for that many people (we were going to be feeding the entire neighborhood). But how will I cook for that many people? We are in temporary housing at the moment. I guess I will need to buy a big cooking pot at the market.”
So we walked out back, and the whole extended family was there working. They had the pig tied up and they had huge pots with all kinds of yummy things cooking. I walked into the living room and sat with the ladies as they peeled pounds and pounds of garlic! (I would have been so embarrassed if I had brought my four pitiful cloves as a contribution). They were like a big family catering business, bustling around all doing various things, laughing and talking and just enjoying the festivities.
They cooked all night practically and showed up with printed bulletins and had pastors lined up to speak and pray for our family and the neighborhood and our upcoming trip home to the United States.
Some of these people have been praying for us for years. Mike has spoken at their church in this town a couple of times, but because we live in the jungle quite a ways away, they don’t see us often. And some of the ones cooking had just met us. How is it that they want to give of their time for us, their resources for us, give up sleep for us? Pigs in town are very expensive; they can sell for well over a thousand dollars. This was not a little thing they did for us. Even in Western terms this was a very big deal.
I am still without words to describe the extent of their generosity. It is so apparent it comes out of their love of Christ and a trust in his provision. We have watched this national family live out their faith in the way they use their time and resources. They just love to bless people and they love to be generous. They taught us so much during the month that we lived there in that coastal town.
Twelve years ago we left our homeland and traveled halfway around the globe carrying a priceless treasure, the good news that Jesus Christ has made a way for all men to be reconciled to Him. Twelve years later we see that the missionary life is a give-and-receive life. We give out the gospel and share the love and Christ. In return we receive so many more lessons than we give.
© 2019 Answers in Genesis