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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Sizzle (05/02/13)

TITLE: A Sizzling Mistake
By Linda Berg
05/06/13


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The invitation prepared in Spanish and sent home with children to be given to their parent’s, read in meaning, “You are invited to a special drama and musical presentation of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Come and listen to your children sing and afterwards we will fry you up in a pan.”

It was our second year of missionary service in Mexico. We knew some of the Spanish language, but we weren’t really fluent.

One of the ministries that we directed was a ministry called, Pan de Vida or Bread of Life. This ministry was a feeding and teaching ministry for elementary age children. Every day the local school was in session, the children would walk to the nearby church building where they were fed a hot meal, taught the Word of God, sang praise songs, memorized scripture and learned to pray. Three times a year, the children would do a special program at the church building. This program was always for the purpose of inviting parents to the church. The women of the church always followed it up with a special meal prepared for everyone.

It was Easter Sunday of 1999. Children came streaming through the double doors, just three feet distance from the street that ran in front of the church building. Some had costumes, they had helped to make, slung over their arms. One girl dropped hers as she came through the door and the boy following behind her accidentally stepped on it. I saw her deep, dark eyes grow big as the tears gathered and threatened to spill over. I leaned down and put my arm around her. In my limited Spanish, while picking up and brushing at her costume, I told her she looked beautiful and it would be okay. She ran off, long hair bobbing behind her to the room where the children were gathering to prepare for their singing and drama.

I turned and followed quickly to the room where everyone was gathering. With all these children and the hubbub of excitement about their program, I thought the teachers might need help.

The room was buzzing with activity. Girls and boys were putting costumes on. Laughter was emanating from every corner. Giggly style laughter came from a group of first grade girls standing to my right. Loud bursts of hysteria indicated there was plenty of nervous tension in the room. Some of the children were singing bits of their resurrection song. The clock on the far wall indicated there was only five minutes until, “show time.”

The “maestra” began to call attention with one well known commanding word, “andale, andale.” The children began to gather around her, pressing in close. She tousled the hair of the little guy to her left then put her arm around him and pulled him to her. She raised her right arm up over her head and the room became quiet and void of little voices.

A final instruction was given from the teacher to the children and then there was a mass scramble as they began to line up in proper pre-planned order.

The antsy moves of the children while singing did not diminish one bit the beautiful message in song of the victory of Jesus resurrection. A loud round of applause filled the air at the completion of the drama. Everyone exited the auditorium for the specially prepared meal.

A week later, our mission staff meeting was held at our home. The mission director and his wife, and my husband and I were all present. Our agenda for the meeting included a time of prayer, going over the calendar, making reports to the director on our work and getting new assignments and then anything else that needed discussing. We were almost done with our meeting when the Director turned to me and said, “Linda, I really appreciate your efforts in the office. You are doing a great job with the correspondence and the newsletter. I am grateful you are making real effort to learn the Spanish language. However, I think you might need to bring your invitations, to be given to the Mexican people, to me for approval before they go out publicly.”

“Oh, did I do something wrong?” I felt a quizzical look spread across my face.

“The recent Easter program invitation sent home with the children to their parents, with the Spanish words you wrote actually meant, “Come and listen to your children sing and afterwards we will fry you up in a pan.”


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This article has been read 196 times
Member Comments
Member Date
lynn gipson 05/11/13
Very interesting and well written account of your wonderful ministry experience. Bless you for all that you do in His name. Thank you for sharing.

Blessings, Lynn
CD Swanson 05/11/13
This entry was special in tellng of the work that you do in His name first off. And, I absolutely enjoyed the ending...brought a big smile to my face it was a perfect conclusion.

God bless you~
Lillian Rhoades 05/11/13
Perfet title for your story. Discovering what the sizzling mistake was would probably have worked best as the final paragraph rather than repeating it in the opening paragraph. Waiting to find the "mistake" adds more suspense and holds the reader's interest, in my opinion. :-)

Excellent storytelling. You make the scenes come alive.

Judith Gayle Smith05/11/13
gurgle. This was sweet . . .
Christina Banks 05/12/13
I enjoyed your story. Sometimes those mistakes can cause a lot of problems. I'm glad that the children still were allowed to come to the program despite the mistake. My red ink would mimic Lillian's. I think it would have been nice to save the mistake for the end, instead of having it at the beginning as well. I feel that you might have given away your punch line. Other than that, I really enjoyed your story.
Bea Edwards 05/14/13
Delightful story which anyone who has a limited knowledge of a foreign language can relate to. Countless shocking statements have been made and hopefully accepted with a sense of humor.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/16/13
Congratulations on ranking 6 in your level!