I sat in Keteng’s hut talking with him while he shaved down a new wooden handle for his shovel (a nice, mindless task). There was some small talk – how they are receiving twice what they usually make for their coffee, how the local fish ponds are doing, how muddy the trail to Saidor is, day to day life stuff.
I had to smile when Keteng said he had a question from his daily Bible reading. I can’t help but mentally rewinding 5 years to when he heard the gospel for the first time, and his continued growth and faithfulness never fails to inspire me. Anyhow, his question was from Genesis, when God first gave people (Noah) permission to eat animals, but He instructed the people to always drain the blood out of the animal first. Keteng was pondering how this might still apply to us today.
In truth, I haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about that. It is such a different life for most of us, shopping in the meat section of a grocery store; whereas all the meat Keteng has eaten in his life has been butchered either by himself, or by a family member or close friend. Keteng’s question is more than just theoretical! How many times have I watched them butcher pigs here, how they catch the blood and cook it up with some greens and eat it as a sort of blood pudding? And how many times do I do things natural to my own culture without stopping to wonder if it is pleasing to the Lord?
Keteng and I were able to sit and spend several hours talking, comparing Scripture, and just thinking about his question. Even the silences made me happy, enjoying the unhurried freedom to sit and ponder that comes with a decade-long friendship. If this isn’t discipleship, what is? Oh the joy of reflecting on God and His Word together!
Our conversation served to sharpen us both, and has us both still thinking.
It truly is for conversations such as this that we have come this summer. So often we do not need a shove in the right direction, so much as someone to walk along with us part of the way.
On behalf of these precious people we have come to serve, thank you for sending our family here this summer!
For His Glory,
Joey and Brooke Tartaglia