Red, Hot Peppers!!!

It was a very busy day – Holding several open-air evangelistic meetings where the story of creation and God’s plan of salvation were explained. A counseling period with those who indicated a desire to accept the Lord as Saviour. Packing up the loud-speaking system. Bumping over remote “non-roads”. Going without a noon meal.
But it was all rewarding and the evangelist and the others with me on this outreach safari were very satisfied with the entire day’s activities. Now we all were looking forward to a good African dinner and a restful night. After all, we were to do it all over again the next day in another area then the following day in another area then the following day…! We were on safari for 2 weeks.
We had made the evangelist’s home compound our starting point that morning. Before we left in the morning he had given instructions regarding the evening meal and made instructions as to the housing for all of us.
Now, some supporting information. In Tanzania there was a plant that produced very small red peppers – chili peppers. And they sure were hot! If one used them in cooking they had to make sure very few were used otherwise ??? – You can guess it.
Enter our evening meal. “Bugali” (stiff corn-meal mush), boiled chicken and gravy, heaps of boiled rice, sweet tea at the end. Man, nothing better!
But this time, the first dipping of the “bugali” into the gravy, caused sharp intakes of breath and frantic requests for water – which, of course, brought no relief. The meat could hardly be chewed without “hot-mouth” results so was basically swallowed quickly. The rice had to be eaten plain without pouring the gravy on it because of the fiery peppery taste. Tears streamed down the cheeks of each one of us.
The evangelist left to go out to the cooking hut to find out what happened. Even he had never experienced something like this. He came back in and reported that his wife, who was in charge of the cooking preparations, had instructed that “because the “nzungu” (foreign) missionary was eating in their home, make sure to put in plenty of pepper because that is what foreigners like”! And they did with abandon!
Wow! Me and hot peppers don’t get along that great! But, we survived. The kindness and concern of our hosts was most encouraging. And it was all a part of ministry. But that day the admonition to “endure all things” took on a new meaning!

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