Last Friday night we had our first young people’s meeting at Church since early summer. These are weekly get-togethers with games, a lesson, and time spent relaxing on the front porch with some snacks. Since this was my first one I wanted to do something extra special, so along with a lesson on how study the Word of God and mysteries to solve, I brought in a secret weapon.
A one gallon container of ice-cream.
Because most ice-cream is imported it ends up being pretty expensive, so you only eat it on very special occasions. The container I bought along with chocolate syrup cost around $20 American, but it’s about double that in East Caribbean dollars. With the way that the young people reacted however, you would think that it cost me $100.
When I got there one of the young people helping me unlock the Church said there had been a rumor about peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches at the meeting (I had discussed bringing snacks with one of them the night before). He seemed a little sad when I informed him there would be no sandwiches, but that changed when the ice-cream was mentioned.
“You got ice-cream?” He asked with excited eyes, “a big container of ice-cream with chocolate syrup!” His excitement spread as each of them learned about the special treat, so by the time started I’m pretty sure ice-cream was on everyone’s mind 🙂
After the study and games we came to the Pastors house to enjoy the desert and coke (another special treat $5 American) and ending up spending two-hours just enjoying our time together.
I was a little surprised there was some ice-cream left the next morning and was thinking about what to do with it when the bell on my front porch rang (we have an actual bell instead of a doorbell). On the porch was one of the young people with sweat pouring down his face asking for a bowl of ice-cream. Of course I invited him in and soon he was enjoying the cool treat on an unusually hot day. This was followed up by another young person coming by for some ice-cream (and the last of the coke) a few hours later, and at 5:00 another of the young people showed up with his sister who he had promised two scoops of ice-cream.
In the end almost every young person had ice-cream in one way or another except for one young lady so I took the very last of it to her after Church in a plastic bag so she could eat it at home…there was little chance of it lasting the day at my house 🙂
One of the things that strikes me about Barrouaille the city I live in on the island is it’s filled with poverty. Of course there are other Countries that experience worse financial need (the people have food, clothing, and other necessities of life) but special things like ice-cream aren’t experienced much since they are just too expensive. This creates an open door for Gospel ministry.
The Missionary who used to live here and is currently in the States used this lack of special treats to develop relationships and share the Gospel since his wife is an AMAZING dessert cook. A Church member sat on the front porch Saturday and spent almost fifteen minutes talking about all of the special treats she would make for them when they came to visit! And of course the Gospel was shared countless times with those treats.
Unfortunately I don’t have the ability to cook as well as this missionaries wife (and probably never will) but that doesn’t mean I can’t be creative with having special treats everyone once in a while *editors note-I’ve already made it clear that ice-cream won’t be given out each week* and even make an attempt (emphasis on the word attempt) on baking!
The Gospel will always be enough to transform a person’s life, but it never hurts to give them something sweet to eat while hearing it