Monday, September 20, 2004

Our Biggest Fan

Here’s a funny story from the mission field:

The day we received our shipment, Leah unpacked a standing oscillating fan. She decided to ask Jean, one of the day guards, if he would put it together for us. Jean doesn’t speak English, and Leah’s French isn’t tres bien yet. But with hand motions and gestures, she handed him the fan and asked him to put it together. He nodded and disappeared. We didn’t see him – or the fan – the rest of the day.

The next morning, Leah asked Jean if he’d finished putting the fan together. He nodded. She asked if she could have it back, but he couldn’t understand what she was asking.

Leah called upstairs to Mama Grace to ask if she would speak to Jean in French, and ask if the fan were ready. Grace laughed and said, “You mean you didn't give it to him? Jean thought the fan was a gift! He was so excited that he had me wrap it up for him to take home last night, so that nobody would steal it.” Grace went on to explain that Jean and his wife lived in a windowless room in a storefront building; the fan was a great luxury!

Needless to say, we haven’t asked Jean for the fan back. It’s being used with great appreciation and gratitude … and that’s good enough for us!