Frogs and Houses
I opened the lid and screamed. Wait. Didn’t I just start a blog that way the other day? I seem to be doing a lot of screaming and throwing things lately. It might have to do with raising a bunch of middle-school aged boys who were born in the mountains. They learned to eat whatever they could catch to fill in their hungry corners. They also find it funny that I think some critters, alive or dead, are revolting. They are always bringing giant cockroaches or lizards or immense beetles for my viewing pleasure.
This time I was cleaning out the refrigerator. “I wonder what’s in this container?” I thought. I opened it, shrieked and tossed it across the kitchen. An enormous skinned frog leaped from the plastic bowl. Frogs are not attractive creatures with skin on. Without any covering, they are even less so. Still, it was mainly the surprise that brought on the “get-that-thing-away-from-me” reaction. I know that lots of people eat frogs and enjoy them. They are acceptable food. I just wasn’t expecting to find one sans skin in my refrigerator.
I shouldn’t have been so surprised. I saw the frog the day before dangling from Andy’s fishing line. He was so proud of his catch! But I also saw him put the frog in our little decorative fishpond, so I thought it would take up residence there rather than in my kitchen.
Preston cooked the frog in the microwave. I didn’t know you could do that – but evidently nuked frog tastes pretty good, judging from the expression on the faces of those who consumed it. Need I say that I passed?
Moving on to more edifying things – last week was notable for two back-to-back house dedications. The first invitation came from elderly Ja’Heh. Five years ago this faithful preacher suffered a debilitating stroke. He can’t walk, and it’s difficult for him to get around. Talk about houses not being handicapped accessible! Wheelchairs don’t roll on bamboo floors and it’s hard for even mobile people to get down the ladder-like stairs of a LaHu house. He couldn’t leave his bamboo hut unless someone carried him.
His daughter works with an organization that helps the hill tribes. They built a house for Ja’Heh. Americans wouldn’t be wildly impressed with the little block house, but it was a mansion to this family and, best of all, Ja’Heh could use a wheelchair to go from room to room and to roll himself outside.
The living room was crowded with the Korean group that built the house, the neighbors, and all of us. Paul preached, we had songs (don’t we always?) and then had a special meal. I had the medicine with me in case someone asked for help – and of course, people did.
The next day we were in the beautiful village of Plang Hoc. This house was just board and bamboo, but the views from the windows made you catch your breath. We had Sunday services there in the living room and then had the house dedication. Seh’ Ba, the pastor and owner of the house, spoke some moving words, giving the house to the Lord, to be used for His glory. Paul spoke, too, and we had more songs. And lunch. They had killed a pig and we feasted on pork balls roasted in banana leaves along with cooked joints of pork and lots of side vegetables.
We brought water filters for the village folks, who were thrilled to get them.
As we did medicine afterwards, we had yet another blessing. A couple brought their little girl to see me. “Last time you were here her face was all swollen and misshapen,” they said. “Now she is back to normal. Thank you.”
I remembered the child. She had an abscessed tooth causing her great pain as well as a badly swollen face. We gave the parents money from our children’s fund to take her to the dentist. What a blessing to see the girl happy and smiling, no longer suffering.
We appreciate our supporters so much! It is because of you that we can help the helpless and needy. Our main goal is the spread of the Gospel and the training of preachers to carry on the Great Commission where we can’t go – and after we are no longer here. Being able to provide clean water, medicine, and education for the children is an added joy to us. We couldn’t do it without you!
By the way, our sending church, Central Baptist Church in Grenada, MS, has set up two new accounts for us. One is the children’s education fund. That will provide higher education for the children we are raising, and insure they have a future if something happens to us. We plan to be around to raise them until they are grown, but we are in our 60s, after all. It’s just wise to make provisions.
The second fund is for a more immediate need – a land fund so that we can buy property in Thailand. It would be so helpful if Paul didn’t have to leave the family two weeks of the month to teach the preachers. We need to have family and the training in the same place. Also, we feel burdened to start a learning center for the hill tribes children. That can happen, but not until we have a place to establish it. We feel sure God has a place for us and are making preparations to be ready when He shows it to us.
We aren’t asking for donations – but just letting you know the need so that, if God leads, you can have a part of the blessing. You can give to the funds – or to the work here in general – through our sending church Central Baptist. Just attach a note saying which fund you would like your donation to go to.
Time to get breakfast for the kids. Guess I’ll go see what’s in the refrigerator. But I’ll open those containers carefully this time!