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Excerpts from The Prince of Sumba: Chapter 2 - The Arrival

Posted by: Pastor_Don_Milton on Mar 16, 2005 - 01:51 AM
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This excerpt is from The Prince of Sumba, Husband to Many Wives.
Copyright 1998 Don Milton All Rights Reserved.
All Copyright Laws Apply

Chapters: [Prologue] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18]  [19]  [20]  [21]  [22]  [23]  [24]  [25]  [26]

Chapter 2 - The Arrival

   Tony suddenly pulled the tricycle to the side of the road and announced,
   "We're here!"
   I surveyed the neighborhood, my eyes moist with tears. I was overwhelmed having finally arrived at my mission. My grandfather used to tell me that I had the eyes of an evangelist. He'd say,
   "Just shout the gospel news and they'll be pierced to the heart when they see the truth in your tears."
   I wondered now if he was simply humoring an over emotional boy. Well, I now had the chance to find out. Evangelism was my mission. Would the locals think I was an over emotional fanatic or would they indeed see the truth in my tears.[1]
   At that moment the real truth for my being here hit me. I loved attention. I was selfish. Had the Lord used my desire for friends and attention to carry out His purpose? I felt ashamed but the Lord always knew my heart. He knew my heart and my reasons before I'd left on this mission. I often prayed that He would be gentle in chastening me for my selfishness but this time I wasn't so sure how gentle He would be. After all, the pastor's house was just a few hours drive from The Islamic City of Marawi. Could that city, made up of over 90 percent Muslims, be my end? I couldn't spend time worrying about it. The Lord was going to have His way and I simply had to follow Him. Yes, my selfishness had brought me here but it was no more than the vehicle that the Lord had used to start me out on this journey.
   I remembered my professor's words,
   "Mindanao is one of the few places on earth where Christian and Muslim worlds intersect."
   I pondered how its people would respond to the Lord's message of love and hope[2] and what part in delivering that message I would play. Would the local Born Again Christians grasp the epic nature of the prophesies concerning Mindanao. Would they even take part in them or would the Lord raise up new converts to carry out that task; new wine into new bottles.[3] Could I love this people? Could they love each other?
   From Pastor Sam's front yard I could see a mosque in the distance. It was imposing. Its gold dome was polished to a glass like finish. What would happen to the people who prayed there? Would they realize that they could not find salvation in their works?[4] Would they know the joy of salvation or would they go to their graves in an unholy Jihad? By what method would the Lord bring His Name to be held in high esteem here?
   Now that Tony had turned off the engine of his tricycle I could hear other tricycles in the distance. The sounds of their engines would rise then fade like the ocean surf beating against the shores. Mary could never understand how I identified city sounds with nature. Well to me the cities were alive. These were the sounds of Cagayan de Oro, the tricycles, children laughing, a rooster crowing in the afternoon, I should say a confused rooster crowing in the afternoon, the clip clop of hooves as a farmer wearing a turban sat atop a wagon pulled by a huge water buffalo on his way to market.
   "Hiya, hiya," he shouted.
   I could hear the keys of a typewriter slapping paper from the window of a nearby school. I would remember these sounds.
   Pastor Sam was outside waiting for us as we got down from the tricycle.
   "Pastor Ishmael David, How was your ride? Not too many flats, I hope?"
   "We really enjoyed the ride," I answered, "actually, we enjoyed the flat. It gave us an opportunity to have a chat with Suni, the girl at the sari-sari store."
   "Oh you met her? She's been looking forward to your coming. She's a member of our choir."
   "That's odd, she didn't say a thing about it."
   "Maybe she thought she'd like to meet the real Ishmael David, not the one who comes here as a missionary. Did she ask your occupation?"
   "Mostly she just asked a lot of personal questions. No, she didn't ask my occupation."
   "She must have enjoyed that. In fact, I'd bet that you're the first foreigners she's spoken to outside of the missionaries she's met here at church. All the other girls are going to be envious of her."
   I was tired from the trip and didn't want to stand outside till dark so I asked,
   "Is your wife at home?"
   "Yes, Sarisa is at home, and this is your wife, Mary?"
   "Yes, I'm Mary," she answered for herself, "Nice to meet you, Pastor Sam. I hope you won't mind that I don't try to pronounce your last name."
   "Oh, not in the least. Everyone here calls me Pastor Sam or even just Pastor and I'm the one who's been rude."
   Pastor Sam motioned Tony to take our bags inside then quipped.
   "Come in to my humble adobo er abode."[5]
   I think I was the only one who got the joke. Adobo is a type of meat dish that is sautéed in red wine vinegar and soy sauce.

 Click Here to Go to Chapter 3 - Humble Abode

[1] Psalms 126:5&6
They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves [with him].
[2] Romans 5:5
And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
[3] Matthew 9:17
Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.
[4] Eph 2:8&9
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
[5]    Among themselves pastors tend to be fond of joking and making puns. A pastor's congregation often takes him so seriously that it isn't kosher to kid and so he relishes getting visits from other pastors who can cut the mustard and in this way he avoids getting into a pickle with his flock.

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