A few years ago, we received a large care package from one of our supporting churches. It had all kinds of goodies in it. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, the package had been contaminated with some type of chemical substance. The whole box was saturated with an oily, foul smelling substance. All the food items in the box were ruined and had to be thrown out. I hated to throw those things away. As my helper was going out the gate that day, I noticed that she had a package of butterscotch chips that she had taken from the trash. I tried to explain that they were not any good, but she would not be convinced . . . until she tried one.
I asked some other ladies from the Baptist Missionary Women group for their input about mail received. One lady said that she received three cards from the same person all on the same day; the only catch was that they were mailed out over two months apart. Better late than never! Some packages and letters are never received.
One family on deputation receives packages in different towns by general delivery. One of their packages was immediately returned to the sender because the post office thought it was a joke. The town name just happened to be the same as the family's last name.
Going to the post office is not always a pleasant experience. One must fight to keep their place in “line.” Many people do not know what a line is! In Africa, there is no such thing as “personal space!” If you want to be “in line,” your toes had better be touching the person's heels in front of you. This goes against everything we were taught as children, but after standing in a line and doing “what is right” and watching “rude” people who had cut in line getting served before you, your programming gets an overhaul!
Sometimes it takes a long time for packages to be received. Missionaries sometimes receive Christmas items around Valentine's Day and Valentine's Day hearts around Easter. In countries that have seasons, one may receive things such as “hot hands” during the summer months when it was intended for the winter months. But, every little thing is greatly appreciated and will come in “handy” eventually. Occasionally winter gloves are received by those who live in a country where it is hot year round; maybe they could be used as potholders! A family who had all teenagers received a box of baby clothes; sometimes there is a little mix up when the box is sent, but it is the thought that counts. Somebody there probably needed those baby clothes!
One family received a large package, but the box had gotten wet. Everything had fallen out the bottom of the box, but the post office did not say a word about it as they handed them the big, empty box.
Another lady was told that there was an item in her package that had to be confiscated. Can you guess what that item was? Girl scout cookies! They claimed that the cookies might contain drugs. I guess that postal worker had a sweet tooth!
If you have a funny story that you would like to share with us, please e-mail it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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!