Saturday, July 02, 2005

vietnamese spring rolls

There we all sat together with a feast of condiments waiting to be made into Vietnamese spring rolls before us. While little 5 year old Esther sat beside me instructing me in the fine art of Vietnamese spring roll preparation, I took the opportunity to capture on film these ladies I enjoy so thoroughly from my mother’s Bible study here in Hannover.

To my left were Winnie and Catherine, both lovely African ladies who had followed their African husbands to Germany for business or study. They were commenting on their disappointment in German sweet potatoes. They are entirely too watery. When you cut a good sweet potato, you should be able to tell that it has a rich, thick sap.

On my mother’s right were Mag and Nora. Our instructors in authentic Oriental cuisine. Both Mag and Nora are of Chinese origin having been raised in Malaysia. I actually met Mag before everyone else. I was coming home for my Christmas break during my freshman year in college. As I boarded the plane from Paris to Hannover I noticed a little Asian woman as pregnant as could be with a little boy and tons of bags and a stroller to worry about. When we landed I helped her carry her stroller down the plane’s steps and helped her set it up. I had no idea that the next morning I would see this same woman at church. A month or two later my special little friend, Esther, was born.

And then there’s wee little Sarah. When I arrived back in Hannover last Sunday I sought her out. “Sarah, I saw your twin when I went to Prague International Baptist Church. She was sitting directly in front of me. I would have said hello for you but she left before I could talk to her after the service.”

“It couldn’t have been my twin.”

“No, no, I’m certain that it was. She looked just like you, well, from behind anyway. Tiny, African, as cute as anything.”

“I’m certain that it wasn’t. I don’t have a twin ... But she could have been my triplet.”

I love her sharp wit. She proceeded to tell me that she recently met a man, who when they were shaking hands he said that he thought that he had met her before. “Really? Where?” she asked. “In Egypt,” he responded. It seems that the world is blessed with three Sarahs.

And then there were the newcomers, Kate and her 12 year-old daughter Sarah. Kate’s family has recently been assigned here in Germany with the British military. I think they have 7, 10, or was it 19 children?

Over the years women have come and gone. International ministry is known for people coming and going. I thank God for each family God has brought our way. And I pray that when they go back to their homelands they carry the light they have received here back home with them.

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