Wednesday, August 8, 2007


Twenty five years ago my wife and I were in Jamaica conducting Vacation Bible Schools in 6 churches with a combined attendance of 1100 kids and workers. Some of the native workers learned we were to celebrate our 24th Anniversary while there.

Without our knowledge a couple of the ladies was able to find some cake mix in a neighboring community store and probably spent most of what they had for it. On the day of our anniversary we went about our teaching and duties to make the VBS at this large old church built in the 1890’s a good one. We did not see anything happening to make us think we were going to be surprised, in fact had no idea something was going to happen that would cause us to remember this blessed day the rest of our life.

After the morning sessions ended, the classes all reassembled back into the auditorium and each class gave a detail of what they learned that day. At the conclusion the local leader, a dear gracious lady, asked if we would come with her back to a large room beyond the worship area. A few of the ladies in the church were positioned around each door as if to guard what we were about to observe. One of the ladies directed my wife and I to a round table in the center of the room that was absent other tables and chairs except for the two chairs around that table where we were to sit. By the time we were seated and settled, the room was nearly full of all the workers and about 300 young people. Each looking like they wanted a piece of what they could not have.

At this time a cake with very little icing was placed in front of us with a knife with a long handle had been sunk to the base of the cake sticking straight up. We were then prompted to both place ours hands on top of each others and to cut forward and then backward until the cake was cut. Then we were to take the smaller cut pieces and place it into the others mouth completing a Jamaican custom. When I started to feed her I noticed her eyes were closed tight with a slight frown on her face. With my prompting she opened her mouth and she chewed fast with a sudden swallow.

On the way back to our sleeping quarters I queried her about her behavior. At which time she said, “Didn’t you see the ants and bugs all over the cake and icing?” To which I replied I had not noticed. She then said, “I knew the expense and the work those dear people had gone to for us, so I was not going to hurt their feelings for the world. Because of that I was willing to eat it ants and all.”

This year we celebrate our 49th anniversary and are grateful for all the many we have spent serving others these last many anniversaries.

“A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land;” - Jeremiah 5:30

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