Monday, October 22, 2007

Rainy Season, Sunday, Pizza Hut

Hello out there!

I am writing you in the midst of neverending rain! It is officially rainy season! It has rained all day long without stop! And it will continue like this with short bursts of sunlight over the next 2 months or so.

Imagine trying to hang dry clothes in rainy weather! It's not easy but I think I've got a system that works now. I was trying to run out as soon as I saw the sun and put my clothes in the sun and then go in the house and wearily keep an eye out for rain and then at the first sign of rain - RUN out and pull the clothes under the porch. (The clothes don't get dry under the porch) Alas, this system failed completely because I would be wrapped up in something and bam...the rain would come wailing in and my clothes were drenched!

So I have resorted to VERY small loads and one rack inside my kitchen with a fan blowing on the clothes at all times. One positive side affect from this is that my house is constantly filled with that wonderful freshly launderd...fabric softner filled clothes! :)

Enough about clothes! I preached/taught for the first time in our church this last Sunday. God spoke to me about what to share and it was so awesome to be able to just spend time with the body of Christ sharing like that. To my dismay they had never known the thing I taught them! I did not know the difference between righteous anger and fleshly anger and that one was good and one was bad and not acceptable.

I talked to them about unity of the body and love and the only way to walk in unity and love is to remember the love that our God has shown to us when we were still sinners. Freely you have received...freely give. It was an awesome time together and it felt so good to be able to share. God was speaking to me too! It's not easy to keep your fleshly anger in check when their are so many cultural differences to deal with on a daily basis.

But through his strength and through remembering that God's love never runs out and that He's never held back his forgivness we too must give as we have received. Because we are supposed to walk in love and to be like the love God describes in his word I put this together for the Thai people to post and help them remember the traits that they are to attain to:

I am patient and kind
I am not jealous or boastful
I am not rude and proud
I do not demand my own way
I am not irritable
I keep no record of wrongs
I am NEVER glad about injustice
I rejoice when the truth wins
I never give up, I never lose faith
I am always hopeful
I endure through every circumstance

If I may share a petty story with which we had to embrace the culture once again and "not be irritable". Our family does not get to go eat "farang" food very often...but we do have a few places in a nearby city...such as KFC, McDonalds and Pizza Hut. So every once in a while we'll go and have a special night.

My boys...and my man have been having a particularly hard time with the Thai food this past couple of weeks. It comes and goes in waves. Sometimes we just can't stomach it...and it all looks and tastes pretty bad and then their are other times when that's all we want!
So we decided to pack up into the car and eat at Pizza Hut.

We get there and are seated and Josiah can barely sit in his seat he's so excited and Jude is looking around and having a great time with the people who work there. They keep coming and picking him up out of his little chair. He milks them for what he wants...he does his cute look and then he wai's them and then whammo...their hooked.

If he wants a cucumber off the salad bar...he get's it. If he wants to go touch the cash register...he can. It's hilarious and a little bit pitiful at the same time. So our pizza comes out after a big debate over Pepperoni vs. pepperoni and sausage. And we make the boys their plates first and while they dig in we make our plates.

I took a big bite and almost spit it right back out. YUCK! What was that taste? About that time John bit in and made some funny faces! The boys didn't seem to mind at all. I realized that it tasted like they had used ketchup instead of pizza sauce. And we're not just talking american heinz ketchup - we're talking Thai sweet ketchup. Most thai's eat their pizza with ketchup! It's one of the condiments that comes out with your pizza...parmesean cheese, salt, pepper, chili powder, oregano and KETCHUP. Our boys have adapted to Thai style and eat their pizza with this sweet ketchup.
So the manager stopped by to say hi and ask how things were (usually happens because we're farangs) so I said with a smile. "We'll the pizza tastes a bit funny today. It tastes like the cooks used ketchup instead of pizza sauce." He smiled politely and said he would go back to the back and ask.

He returned quickly and said with a smile "Yes it is ketchup. We are out of sauce." (all in Thai of course). I smiled and said...ahhhhh...that explains it. He then said the famous Thai phrase "mai ben rai chai mai krab?" Which means "nevermind right?"

I pushed my american mindset aside...which was not so easy at the moment...I kept thinking: This isn't fair. We don't get to do this often and it's expensive!! 530 baht for a large pizza and a pitcher of coke ($17) and we didn't come here to eat Thai ketchup pizza - we wanted PIZZA HUT PIZZA! My heart kind of sunk as I forfeited my american "right" to politely protest and proclaim my "right" to a free meal or a voucher for a real PIZZA HUT pizza.

I looked up at him and smiled genuinely and said "Mai ben rai ka" (a very polite it's ok, forget about it") and then proceeded to pull off my toppings and use a tissue to wipe off my "ketchup sauce". Customer service doesn't not exist in Thailand as it does in America...of course. Though not what we came for...John had unknowingly saved the day when he put the beloved Ranch and Tabasco into the diaper bag before we left house! I don't normally use these but I found out that with those two things you can make any pizza taste good!!

So...what I talked about on Sunday came around full swing. I had also talked to them about American rights and our spiritual rights and what rights we have when dealing with others. ha! On the way out I did make a mental note to remember to ask if they were out of sauce before ordering next time! :)

Please be praying for our dear friend Candy and for her husband Daniel. They need serious prayer. Well, I'm off to clean up around this house and get another load of laundry on the rack. Thanks for reading and praying for us!!


Michelle said...

Ketsup is a pretty popular condoment here too . . . on everything, but I've yet to try it on pizza!
Praise God how more often than not, when you think your going to "bless" others God is also working on/with you!