Saturday, July 30, 2011
You've Got To Be Kidding Me
God has blessed us by allowing us to meet a family from Cambodia who is staying four floors above us in the apartment complex in Bangkok. It is a man and his wife in their early fifties, and she is receiving treatment for a back injury at the same hospital where Emily Faith will be born. Also staying with them is her younger sister, who has accompanied them in order to be their full time chef.
We met several weeks ago, and we immediately took a liking to each other. One day, I went up to their room to say hello, and after having a nice visit, they gave me some Khmer food to give to Linda. That was about three weeks ago, and scarcely has a day gone by in which they didn't prepare a meal for us. I would guess that they have provided around fifteen meals for us over the past three weeks.
So, we wanted to do something for them to express our sincere gratitude. I asked Linda what we should get them, and she immediately responded by saying, "A fruit basket!" Sounded good to me! So earlier today, we swung by the grocery store to by the fruit. As we were perusing the fruit section, I heard Linda say, "Oh, those look so good." She was referring to a box of cherries imported from America. If I have learned one thing about Cambodians over the past six years, it is that they love about any kind of fruit; and cherries are at the top of the list. I picked up the box of cherries, looked at the price tag, and almost fell over. 950 baht, or $32.75. I'm not talking about a Sam's Club portion of gourmet cherries. I'm talking about just a normal little package of normal cherries, but at an abnormal price. But then I thought, "What a perfect gift for these folks. Their Cambodian, so I know they'll love the cherries. They know that cherries are a rarity in this part of the world, so they'll appreciate it for sure!" Linda agreed. And for the first time in my life, I paid $32.75 for a package of cherries.
I was nearly giddy with excitement to give them this package of cherries. I knocked on the door, imagining the excitement that would erupt as soon as they saw this precious package of pure deliciousness. As they opened the door, I couldn't help but have a smile on my face as I entered the room, slowly extending the gift towards them. I then said, "My wife and I just want to say thank you for all you have done for us. We have bought you this delicious fruit that comes from America. Of all the fruits, this is the most delicious."
There wasn't exactly an eruption of excitement. The lady said, "Oh, we have a lot of those already. Honey (speaking to her husband), get them out of the refrigerator for me, please." He walked to the fridge, and out came three packages of cherries from America. As if bursting my bubble wasn't enough, she gave me a proverbial kick in the head by adding, "I don't think these cherries are really from America. They just say they are so they can get more money." The title of this post explains what I was thinking at that point.
*On a more serious note, please pray for the Holy Spirit to work on the hearts of these people. They are not saved, and seem to be fairly committed Buddhists. I was able to break the ice a little bit with them tonight and talk about Christ, but was as if I had not said anything. They are very friendly, and I think we will be in contact with them when we are all back in Cambodia.