Fireman to the Rescue
We had an emergency here the other night. I just knew something like this would happen when Chet was gone! I was just innocently going about my business walking out to the storage unit to put a box of diapers in it. I opened the door to the storage unit, and it hit me right away... that all-too-familiar smell. Unfortunately it wasn't smoke. It was the dead mouse smell! Are you kidding me?!? I knew they had to be newly squished rodents, because all the traps were empty just two days before... and because the smell wasn't too bad yet. I stood as close to the open door as possible while bending at the waist to see which trap was full. There were two. Disgusting! I set the diapers down and slammed the door as quickly as possible.
Okay, now what was I going to do? I know the Lord sometimes gives us challenging tasks and that He equips us to handle them. However, I was really praying that this was not one of those times when I needed to be equipped myself. I called and left messages for Randy Murray and Joseph Bonura to see if they could come by and help me dispose of the dead rodents and set new traps.
Before Randy and Joseph had a chance to call me back, Michele Murray called me because she noticed my number on their caller id. When I told her about my dilemma, she suggested I call her brother, Michael... aka "Fireman Mike". (He's the same fireman that directed the fire house birthday party Ladan went to a year and a half ago. He also goes to our church.) Great idea! He lives right down the street, and we figured that if he can handle burned humans, he could probably handle a couple of dead mice in traps. I called, and he and his wife came down right away. Praise be to God! I am not saying that lightly either. The church family is good for so many reasons, and I think this is just one purpose the Lord had in mind when he decided it was good that we live as part of a community.
In the end, this gives me just one more thing to add to my list of reasons I'm looking forward to my farm boy's return. I'm sure Randy, Joseph and Michael will be glad when Chet can do his own chores again too!
Chet's Trip #7
I've talked to Chet a couple of times since I was able to write in detail. Last weekend, Chet and Tom went to some villages to the west of Calcutta. They went back to Calcutta Sunday, and they left again on Monday to go to some villages to the east of Calcutta. They returned again on Wednesday, and they've been here and there in town since then. That's the overview, and here are some details.
In the first set of villages:
- Chet and Tom went out with a few Bengali men. They walked about 20 miles one day to visit different villages. One village had about 70,000 people living in it. I don't call that a village. When they would reach the villages, Chet would get out his camera and start taking pictures of the kids and then show them their pictures on the digital screen. They thought it was really great. Then he showed their parents, and the parents were immediately drawn to Chet and Tom. This allowed them to start many conversations.
- The people were VERY hospitable. The guys drank a lot of tea in the homes of various people they met.
- Chet was able to preach to about 200 unbelievers. He also gave a short sermon during the worship service of one of the local fellowships (underground churches). There was apparently a drummer playing during the music. He played with each of his fingers and thumbs in addition to using the palms of his hands. Chet said it was amazing! Chet and Tom both said it was emotional to leave this group of believers because they felt such a deep connection with them.
- The people were all very open to hearing them.
In the villages east of Calcutta:
- Chet and Tom went out again with one of the Bengali men named Ani (sp?). Ani had been with them on their first round in the other villages, and he asked them if they'd come to some of the villages near his home.
- The villages were much smaller and more like actual villages.
- The people in general were a little bit more closed and skeptical than the people in the other villages. However, they were still very hospitable.
- Somewhere along the way, Ani gave Chet and Tom each a garment that Chet described as "a tube of fabric that goes around your waist down to your ankles". I said, "You mean a skirt?" He was apparently wearing it around the hotel while I was talking to him during that conversation and said it actually was significantly cooler than even shorts. He and Tom wore them in the village homes some, but once they were back in the city, they did not wear them in public. I guess he's getting the full experience!
- While they were in Ani's village, they met a 14-year-old girl and spent some time in her home with her family. At one point, the girl asked Chet if he wanted to go up on the rooftop. He thought she was going to show him some flowers or something. As it turns out, her sister-in-law was up there worshiping their Hindu idols. The girl invited Chet to worship an idol. He explained that he worships Jesus. She said she does too. Apparently it wasn't a good time to continue the conversation, so he left it for the moment. He went back to Ani's house and explained what happened. Then he took Ani back to the girl's house later that night to explain the difference between the way he worships ONLY Jesus and the way she worships Jesus along with other gods. She said that she would worship only Jesus too, but it was too difficult because her family was all Hindu. Chet was able to refer her to Ani and Ani's wife, who both grew up in Hindu families, saying that she could talk to either one of them if she wanted some suggestions for how to handle her family if she wanted to be commited to Jesus alone. Her sister-in-law was in the room listening to the whole conversation, so she was able to hear the Gospel too.
- Chet was able to talk to Ani's church. It was a smaller church (I think he said it was made up of about 40-50 people). At one point, Chet asked the people to raise their hands if Ani led them to the Lord, and 12 people raised their hands. Then he asked them to raise their hands if Ani had discipled them, and every single person raised his/her hand.
- At the end of a week with Ani, Chet and Tom both had a hard time leaving him and his family.
Since they returned to Calcutta:
- Chet has taken a couple of naps.
- He went to some neat shops.
- The guys all went to William Carey's place. It was a bit of a jaunt away, and he said their guide seemed to be in a hurry, so they didn't get to see as much of it as they could have. It was actually the first thing he said wasn't as cool as he expected it to be.
- They ate at a Pizza Hut with a local American missionary and his family. According to Chet, it was the nicest Pizza Hut he's ever been to. Everything was really clean, and the pizza was actually good (pretty shocking to both of us). As a bonus, the waiters would dance if asked. Hilarious!
In the next couple of days, they'll go to the market, do some hanging out as a group, go to church on Sunday morning, and pack up to and prepare to take off on Sunday night. Please pray:
- for continued health and safety for the guys
- that the Gospel will take root in the hearts of those who heard (or will hear) it
- that the believers they met with will be encouraged and will feel better equipped to go out and disciple the people in their churches
- for the 14-year-old girl in Ani's village (and for her family)
And the last update...
The Wonder That Is Olbas Oil
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I think I may have an ear infection or something. I basically had a fever for about a day, my ears were pretty sore and had lots of pressure on them, and my throat felt like people were making me swallow knives for most of this week. It was awful! I don't think I've ever had an ear infection before, so I can't be sure that's what it is. However, I've just treated it as if it was an ear infection, and it started to get lots better. I made sure to drink lots of warm water, took some Tylenol, consumed very few dairy products, and added a B and C vitamin complex and zinc to my regimin.
I sent the Olbas Oil with Chet in case he had trouble with congestion, so I had to go out and buy some more on Wednesday. In case you don't know what Olbas Oil is, it's a mix of essential oils like mint, eucalyptus, juniper, and a few others. This stuff is amazing! We use it for so many things in our house (pregnancy congestion, infant congestion, allergies, runny noses, sore muscles, etc.). I had a friend once who used it for an ear infection, so I thought I'd give it a shot. I put one drop in front of each ear and one drop behind each ear (under my earlobe). I laid down, and within 5 minutes, I felt all the fluid in my ears dripping away. This is exactly what my friend said happened to her! It felt fabulous!
I added a humidifier to the mix while I slept and continued to apply the Olbas Oil every few hours followed by a heating pad on the sides of my face, and today I felt SO MUCH better! My throat also feels better, probably since I don't have all that fluid draining down the back of it all day long. I'll probably keep up the Olbas Oil and the humidifier for one more night, and hopefully this thing will be kicked.
If you've never heard my running Olbas Oil commercial, here's your introduction. We're pretty convinced that every family should keep some in the cabinet. I'm sure there are many places to find it, but we get ours at Whole Foods. It's almost $16 for a bottle, but you only use a few drops at a time, so it lasts for a LONG time.