Pigs and Preachers
I jumped back into the truck with pounding heart. Oh. Nothing to worry about. The black monster that suddenly appeared screaming and scrabbling on the road was just a loose pig. I should be used to this stuff by now, but it still takes me by surprise.
Paul preached a good sermon, although it was a challenging situation. This church is Lisu and, though some understand Lahu or Thai, many do not. Paul spoke in English, Lek interpreted into Thai, and Matthew changed it once more, this time to Lisu. It takes a lot of time to get anything said in that kind of circumstance, but God is able to do His work in spite of hindrances.
After church we brought out the medicine. As usual, people from the village lined up with the church members to ask for help. Doing medicine required two translators, too. Lek and Asa helped me as we gave out medicine for stomach ailments, for back and knee aches, for “itchy” and, as is usual for this village, for worms.
Some of the members had questions and asked Paul’s advice. Two ladies were building houses on the church land (a normal situation here) and there was a dispute about the property lines and about who had the right to build. As Paul was considering their questions, yet another, bigger, pig ran squealing out from behind a building. It charged right toward me. I screamed, jumped, and dodged the pig, which the villagers found entertaining.
On the way home, we stopped to visit another of Paul’s students. Dwangsawaang is a little guy with a funny, high voice, but he is a good student and serious about evangelizing. He has been going over to preach in a village which does not have a church but which has about ten families who profess to be Christians. Missionaries from two different denominations came and left years before, leaving behind lots of confusion about Biblical teaching. Dwangsawaang wants to teach them, but he has a lot to learn, himself. I’m thankful he is faithful to come to Paul’s training and is here in Mae Ai this week.
“God has been good to me and I will never, ever, go back to worshipping the spirits,” she said.
Then it was home again to our lovely new house to prepare for preachers’ training this week. The Thailand men are faithful and with few exceptions are here every month. Paul labors with them to make sure they understand – and it is a labor. Because he has both Lisu and Lahu, everything has to be said three times. Lek says it in Thai, which the Lisu understand, and then his dad, Moses, repeats again in Lahu. The men have surprising gaps in basic Bible knowledge, so he has lots to cover.
He gave them a test today to see if they were grasping the truths. One multiple choice question was about the apostle Paul. “God called Paul to be 1) an apostle, 2) a deacon or 3) a football player.”
One man chose #3 – a football player.
“Why do you think God called him to be a football player?” Paul asked.
“Well, in football you travel all around the field tirelessly, giving all of your energies. Paul was like that.” I guess that’s one way to look at it!
One more day of training and then home again. The kids will be home from their visits to the mountains on Saturday – and we will have some additions to our family. More about that next blog.