(Special Thanksgiving Article)
Years ago, 21 missionaries and I obtained Religious-Activity visas to enter a Communist country. Rare! Government watchers filmed all our activity. A friend and I ministered to the deaf and challenged national pastors to begin deaf ministries. One afternoon, the police confiscated all our passports and confined us to a one-block area around our conference (later they returned our passports). Our American team leader coordinated the meetings, meals, and all activities. Beef and fish graced the tables of only government officials and tourists. Little remained for common citizens. National pastors survived like everyone else – on beans and rice.
I remember the host pastor rattling around in his 1950s Ford (with a Russian 4-cylinder engine). Our leader told him that only the very best food would do for our banquet for missionaries. The host pastor used our money to gather loads of legal “food just for tourists.”
The national pastors and their wives cooked and set up for our banquet. What a delicious-looking feast – set up and ready to eat. Our leader locked all doors, drew all curtains, and prayed for the meal. With no watchers watching, we Americans then stepped aside and seated the national pastors and their wives at the banquet tables.
As I watched them enjoy the feast, I realized that this good ole boy had much to be thankful for, because I have never known real lack as these people do. Watching those poor saints enjoy the feast made it “Our Best Banquet Ever!”
BTW: It was reported to SWM that several deaf ministrieswere established and continue unto this day – TC