Back to main magazine page now!!

hearts to give our crayons to the Sunday
school class. Imagine our delight when
a few days later, someone from America
sent us a box and enclosed a brand new
box of crayons! Even as very young
children, we saw how God had blessed
us personally for our small sacrifice.

God had used us to fulfill a need, and in
return, we saw that God takes care of His
workers—even young ones.

Not only did the mission field show us
that God could use us individually but it
also gave us a passion for serving. Seeing
the need firsthand, we got a desire to fulfill
it. The first need that we readily saw was
spiritual. When we started teaching the
children Bible stories, we could see their
hunger for more as they intently listened
to every word. It was fun to watch their
surprise at hearing about a man who
12 lived three days in the belly of a whale
or three men in a fiery furnace who were
not burned. Seeing their amazement
made it exciting to teach them more
about the stories that were familiar
to us. As we got to know the children
better, another need became evident: the
physical. When we would bring snacks
for our Sunday school class, the children
hungrily ate everything we brought and
asked for more. We were saddened to
find out how long it had been since they
had eaten a decent meal. We noticed that
some girls always wore the same dress to
church. That was because it was the only
one they had. One toddler boy would
come to Sunday school wrapped in an
old curtain because he had no clothes.

What fun we had the day we went home
and gathered up some clothes to give
them! How grateful they were! What
joy a few clothes that we could spare
brought them! After seeing the joy and
fulfillment that serving brought, we
desired to do more.

The mission field also enriched us with
a better perspective for life. It taught us
to be friends with people who spoke a
different language, ate different food,
and had different ways of doing things.

We saw that being different is not always
a bad thing. The mission field taught
us how to adapt. We had the benefit
of learning that it was actually fun to
“make do” with what you had or get
along without what you did not have.

Frequent water and electrical shortages
taught us flexibility. One memorable
Thanksgiving, the electricity went out
just as we were putting the turkey into
the oven. Who knew that turkey could
be cooked just as well on a gas stove
top? And did you know mangoes make
a great substitute for apple in apple pie?
For several months we did not have a
washing machine. At first, washing our
clothes by hand seemed too arduous a
task to be enjoyable. Although it never



was a favorite pastime, it was fun to work
and laugh together and—especially on
hot days—to get soaking wet with the
cold water! Of course, we were thankful
when we did get a washer, but we will
always look back on that experience as a
fun time that we would not have wanted
to miss. During water shortages we took
sponge baths and learned that you do
not have to take a bath every day! Power
outages were no big deal—we just lit
the kerosene lamps and played shadow
games on the wall. The mission field
better prepared us to meet the challenges
of life.

It was easy to be thankful for the
blessings we had when we were daily
confronted with the needs of others. We
distinctly remember visiting the tiny
dwelling of one of our faithful widows.

She was pleased to have us in her home
and eagerly related to us how good God
was to her. While she conversed with
our parents, we girls had a chance to
look around the small room. There was
not much to see—the couch we were
sitting on, the coffee table in front of
us, and a chair in the corner were all
covered with homemade doilies. Behind
a curtain that divided the small house
into two rooms stood a single bed. Once
we returned home, we asked our parents
where this lady kept the beds for her
three boys. The answer shocked us: “One
sleeps on the chair, and two sleep on the
couch.” Suddenly, our wants and desires
dimmed in importance as we thought of
those boys who did not even have a bed.

girl replied, “But
Teacher, this is my
breakfast!” How
ashamed we felt
when we thought
of the times we
had complained
of our food, and
here was a little
girl with only
crumbs for break-
fast! After that,
thanking God for
our meals became more than just a hab-
it. We learned to be thankful for the little
things. Many of our African friends did
not have shoes. When we saw the soles of
our barefoot friends thickened by years of
walking without shoes, it made even our
hand-me-down shoes beautiful to us. Liv-
ing among the needy was sometimes dis-
couraging until we saw God—Who is rich
unto all that call upon Him—provide for the
African Christians, and sometimes He used
us to meet their needs.

The lessons Africa taught us will always be
a part of our lives no matter where we go.

To us missions is the greatest thing in the
world! We thank God for the privilege to be
called MKs and for the lessons learned on
the mission field. W
The Bohman girls (Erica, Deborah, Heidi, and
Julia) served with their parents in both Kenya and
Tanzania. Eric and Lori Bohman have served with
BIMI for 23 years, and he is presently the Africa
Field Director.

Once at Sunday school, we noticed a
young girl who was visiting for the first
time. She was carrying a little bag of
breadcrumbs, carefully eating one after
another during the lesson. Whenever
she accidently dropped them, the timid
girl bent down and picked up every one.

After one of these episodes, the teacher
suggested she throw the dirty crumbs
away. Straightening herself, the little
13