Friday, March 22, 2013

A Downhill Day

Have you ever had one of those days when nothing seemed to go right? It seems to happen quite frequently on the mission field. Every day is a new adventure of some kind. Those "new adventures" do not always seem funny at the time that they are happening. In times like these, it helps to remember Proverbs 17:22: "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine; but a broken spirit drieth the bones." Sometimes, I really struggle with discouragement; the devil knows that too.  The Lord is working in my life to help me to have that merry heart instead of a broken spirit.

This is how one day last week went for me. I started to make muffins for breakfast. After I had all of the dry ingredients in the bowl, I remembered that I was out of eggs. So, I decided to go with “sweet biscuits.” (Muffins use a lot more sugar than biscuits!) When remembering the biscuit recipe, I forgot to cut down the ratio of milk to flour; it was more like cake batter than biscuit dough. So, I went with plan C - a coffee cake. As I went to put it in the preheated oven, the gas bottle had run out. While trying to relight the oven, I burnt my thumb. About that time, the power went off for our next twelve-hour shift of load shedding. Then, I was getting the kids' lunches ready for school and knocked a glass jar off of the pantry shelf; it broke, of course.  All of that was before 7:00 in the morning; I knew it was going to be an interesting day!

My husband and I have been learning Fante, the tribal language in this area of Ghana. After our Fante lesson that day, our teacher, Teacher Adoko, wanted Joe to go with him to meet his wife’s family who had just arrived for a funeral. As they were walking down a pathway between rows of houses, people were greeting them in Fante as they went. An older lady was talking to them in Fante. Joe did not understand all that she said and just kind of nodded his head. (When we greet people in Fante, they automatically assume that we are fluent in Fante.  We are not to that point yet.) The next thing he knew, a very large young woman came running out of the house and picked him up. Apparently the older woman was trying to give him the younger woman. Joe was fighting tooth and toenail and yelling “Gyae!” (STOP!). Joe said that he did not think that a woman could pick him up, let alone run while carrying him down an alley! After a bit of a struggle, he got away. Teacher Adoko was in shock; all he could do was stand there with his mouth hanging open. We told him that people are always giving us marriage proposals when we are out and about; he thought people were just joking until then!
Our family with Teacher Adoko

There had been a propane shortage. We had left our bottles at the filling station. Joe was going to stop by and pick up our bottles on the way home. I had been holding off on washing a big load of socks because I was hoping to dry them in the dryer. Joe came home without any gas bottles; they ran out of propane before our bottles were filled. By that time, I was in tears. Looking back, it was a silly thing to cry about; many people do not even have a dryer! But sometimes women are just silly like that! Joe helped me hang the load of socks out on the clothesline. As we finished hanging the load, it began to thunder. I said that it would just be my luck for it to start raining! My husband was chuckling at the whole situation, but he really laughed when I said that it would probably rain; he even made me smile. Thankfully, the rain held off.

As we were sitting at the supper table that night, our son Gilbert was talking about playing “King of the Mountain” with some other boys. Joe told him that he should be careful so that he did not break an arm or something. Gilbert replied, “Well, I almost broke my bottom!” At that point, we could not help but laugh. We laughed so hard that we cried. When all else fails, laugh a little!

If you have a language blooper or some other funny story that you would like to share with us, please e-mail it to me at Please include the name of each family member, your field of service, and a picture of your family if possible.

Until next week, keep your sunny side up!

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ginger said...

We are so thankful for your merry spirit. It is so much fun to read your adventure stories. Thank The Lord the Fonte teacher was there to correct the situation for Joe's newest marriage proposal.

Anonymous said...

Keep that merry heart! You are so right that it is God's way of blessing you. Who knew that Joe would be in such high demand over there??

Rhonda @ herChristianHome said...

Laura, wow! What a day! Sometimes when it rains, it pours...and that day you were pouring with obstacles.

A merry heart does indeed do much good for our attitude and spirit on days like that.