Owen frowned as his mother passed him a bowl of peas. "I know you don't care for peas, Owen," she said, "but I want you to take a few." Knowing better than to argue, he reluctantly dropped a few peas on his plate.
"Pretend they're something else," suggested his sister Shelly. "Pretend you're a missionary--like in the book I'm reading. Make believe the natives invited you to dinner. They offered you that food. You've never seen it before, but if you want them to accept you, you have to eat it. Otherwise you'll hurt their feelings."
"But they're not peas? Well, if they don't have peas in some countries, I'll go there!" Owen grinned, entering into the game. "What do I pretend these are?"
Shelly laughed. "Bugs!" she said. As Owen made a face, Shelly turned to her mother. "Some night, let's pretend we're in one of the countries where our church has missionaries, Mom," she suggested. "Like Japan. We could sit on the floor and eat with chopsticks."
"Yeah!" Owen nodded. "Only I vote for Italy. We could have pizza!"
"I like the idea!" approved Dad. "Let's choose one country each month. We could learn about the climate in that country, the kind of work people do there, and the kind of money they use."
"All right," said Mom. "I have an international cookbook. Shelly and I can figure out the menu and do the cooking."
"You won't make us eat bugs, will you?" asked little Danny with a frown.
Shelly laughed. "No bugs," she promised. "You can decorate placemats, Danny,"
"I'll help you," offered Owen. "I'll draw a map on one and pictures showing the country's products and trees or flowers on others. You can color them, okay?"
Dad leaned back in his chair. "And I'll report on the kind of work our missionaries do there--whether it's starting churches, working in hospitals, translating the Bible, or whatever. Why don't we have our first missionary dinner a week from today."
"Good," agreed Mom. "Now, Owen, since you're still in the United States, you need to finish your peas." Owen nodded, stabbed a single pea with his fork, and put it into his mouth.
HOW ABOUT YOU?
Could your family plan a missions night? If preparing a whole foreign dinner seems too difficult, perhaps Mom could prepare one special dish or dessert from a different country. In any case, find information about the country where the missionaries from your church work. Learn what kind of ministries they have and what the people there are like. Learn something about their countries. Doing this will help you know how to pray for the missionaries and the people with whom they work.
TODAY'S KEY VERSE: 1 Corinthians 9:22 (KJV)
I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
*Verse displayed is NKJV