Thursday, June 23, 2016

A Marriage Proposal

A little over 12 years ago I was completing my senior year of college, living in a small one-bedroom apartment off campus. It was an older house that had been divided into a duplex with a little screened in porch attached to the back. My boyfriend at the time decided that little porch needed to be cleaned up and painted to give me a nice place to sit and read or study. I already had a nice place to sit and read and study…an apartment…to myself. It was the first and only time I ever lived alone and after three and a half years of living in tiny dorm rooms with a roommate, to this introvert having an entire apartment (small or not) to myself was luxurious. But this cute guy wanted to "fix up" my porch, so I said, "Sure. It will be so nice to have that porch for a quiet place to study," and let him spend an entire Saturday working on it. 

When the project was complete he called me out to see this nice new space he created for me (which I didn't really care about). I put my best, most appreciative looking smile on and went out to see the results of all his hard work. As he opened the door and let me pass in front of him to inspect the area, I saw "WILL YOU MARRY ME" pained in big red letters across the porch wall. When I turned around fully expecting him to be laughing at the big joke he just played on me, there he was on one knee holding a ring. 

The rest of the story gets a little blurry from here because I was in such shock. I'm pretty sure my brain, if not my entire body (he says, no, my body stayed there in front of him in terrifying silence) floated into space for a few minutes. I'm convinced I saw Mars. It's red right?? But after he said, "I need an answer" I returned to this planet and to my new porch and said "Yes." 

It was terribly romantic and a great proposal story that I love telling to this day. 

Last week, we heard another proposal story that was…well…a different kind of romantic. 

One of the young guys that John Michael frequently works with in developing lessons recently returned from another village where he, another young single guy, and another couple were starting an outreach. They completed the literacy program and were about to start teaching the chronological Bible lessons to the Yano people for the very first time when the all the murders happened and that got put on hold. 

Then last week a man from that village came to tell us that there was going to be a court against our young friend for some inappropriate behavior with a young widow from that area. John Michael, Jonathan, and the church leaders met with him to hear his side of the story and this was his response…

"I didn't do what they say I did, but I did do something very wrong. I threw the peel of my betel nut at her and hit her with it. I did this without talking to her parents first, though. It was very wrong and I am very sorry for what I did."

The church leaders immediately responded with reprimands and advice about how he should respond to the accusations while the two missionaries sat looking confused and wondering if they heard his words correctly. After several minutes of conversation to clarify things, the two men discovered that what our young friend did was actually propose marriage to this girl…by throwing the peel of a nut at her and hitting her with it. How romantic. 

Can you imagine ladies? The moment you feel small but sharp ping on your shoulder, you look around with reluctant hope…could it be? Could you possibly be the recipient of this romantic gesture?  And with your heart pounding you see him there and you can't believe that you could ever be so lucky! It's the greatest, most romantic day of your life…. the man of your dreams has just hit you with a piece of garbage!!! 

There you go, Disney, your next fairy tale romance to make millions off of. You're welcome. 

***Also, any future visitors to Hewa. Please be careful as to how and where you dispose of your refuse. You may go home with more than you bargained for. ***