There is an organization in town that offers food donations to poor communities every quarter-or-so. I’m sure they have a system, or some way to communicate it, because everyone in a mile or so radius come to our street and plays in our yard until the car arrives. Somehow, they know.
And it’s a huge community event, while everyone waits in line to write their name down and show their number of kids–only those present are counted in the rations–and take home a bag (or a few bags for some families!) of food.
Tonight, Stephen was coming back from a bike ride as one mother stop to talk to him. This conversation occurred in Burmese:
“Stephen, you’re friends are very nice! They gave us a lot of food!”
“Oh, I don’t know them. They aren’t my friends.”
“No, you’re friends over there. They gave us food.”
“I don’t know them; we aren’t friends.”
“Yes! They are from America! Your friends! Over there!”
“Yes, I don’t know them.”
She then turned to her daughter, who speaks pretty good English, and told her Stephen didn’t understand. Tell him in English, “Your American friends over there, they are very nice and gave us food.”
“Yes, I don’t know them, but I’m very glad they are helping!” Apparently all foreigners are dear friends of ours!
Stephen came into shower, and a bit later another friend came running to the door. “The Americans! They want to meet you!” I went out to talk to them, finding a group of two foreigners–neither American by the accent, both living elsewhere in Asia–and two Asians, likely Thai & Burmese. They were indeed waiting to talk to us and asked how long we’ve been here and what we do. One of the translators kept repeating, “They just said so many good things about you! They said we must meet you because you are so kind.”
It was great to meet them really, and they were working with a Catholic organization seeking unity among different religions. We love it when other churches are pouring into the community in any way, but particularly with food donations: this is something we simply can’t venture into. The minute we begin giving out food we’d have endless streams. But for them to come regularly and bless these families with gifts of food means so much to them, and they do know they are connected to churches. It all makes a great little picture of Jesus’ love, from many different directions and people.
And, it also gives us a laugh. So thankful our friends came to share food today 🙂