I would like you to meet Brother Jack. That’s not his real name but that is what everyone calls him. He speaks 7-9 languages one of which is English. He is so interesting to talk to. We gave him a ride home from church last Sunday. He lives about 20-25km from the church in a real small village in the middle of the rain forest. He has diabetes and some other health issues. As a result, he hasn’t been able to find a job. He is currently living with his wife and three small children in his mother in laws home.
He was raised in an orphanage. At age 18 he was expected to leave and provide for himself. He made a living in sales, as a teacher and as a chef. One year he got very ill and ended up in the hospital. It was there he discovered the Bible and found great healing from it. After getting out of the hospital and working, he asked a coworker where the nearest church was. Not being a member, his coworker told him about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints which was close by in Bintulu. He went to the church one Sunday morning and waited for the members to arrive. A short time after that he was baptized a member. It was there that he served as the Branch President for a time.
Bus service from his village no longer runs on Sunday so he relies on the Branch President to give him a ride. Last Saturday we had a baptismal service which Brother Jack come to with the Branch President. The Branch President went home that evening and was unable to come to church on Sunday so Brother Jack stayed in Kuching. He spent the night at the CityOne Mall, had dinner, then slept on a bus bench until Sunday morning. He then walked to our building so he could attend church. He walks very slowly with the aid if one crutch. I’m sure it was difficult for him. No one knew this until after our meetings. After church, several members asked if we could give Brother Jack a ride home. It was on our ride home that we discovered all this information about him. When I think about some of the reasons members give for not attending church, my mind will come back to Brother Jack and I will count my blessings.
We took Brother Jack to his village and walked with him to his home. He invited us in to visit with his wife, mother in law and to see his 3 children. They were so gracious. His wife had prepared fried jack fruit for us and they gave us a warm chocolate drink. The jack fruit grows all over there. It was pretty good. It has a large pit in the middle kind of like a plumb. We met his wife who is not a member of the church. He has 3 cute children. Two are two month old twins. Sister Leary loved that.
As we left, they provided us with a bag of fried jack fruit and a bag of raw jack fruit. They also gave us a golden pineapple to take home. It is so humbling to me to see how people treat the missionaries. They provide so much for the missionaries when they have so little and are in such great need themselves. I know the Lord will bless all the good people who treat his servants so kindly and with such charity.
As we walked through their little village, we passed a small home with four children out front. They looked with wonder and amazement at us. We smiled and said hello. As we walked along further and stopped to take a picture of the banana tree we heard lots of little voices. We turned back and there must have been 20 children all gathered together staring at the white Americans taking a picture of a banana tree. It made us smile.