Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Family Home (05/29/08)
- TITLE: Imported Children
By Arlene Baker
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God imported my children from Europe and Asia, namely in the guise of foreign exchange students. As each arrived, bearing native foods, I politely sampled all. I learned to eat and enjoy sticky rice wrapped in roasted seaweed. In fact, I became somewhat of a connoisseur of seaweed. Korean seaweed has a nice texture and crunch. Japanese seaweed is gooey, but works well with sushi. Sorry, but I draw the line at sushi. No raw fish shall ever pass these lips.
My German kids introduced me to Nutella. At first, I found it totally yucky to spread what tastes like chocolate icing on toast. I turned up my American nose during the stay of the first three Germans. Then I developed a taste for it, thankfully just about the time it started appearing at WalMart (stocked near jams and peanut butter). Now my cupboard is never without it. It makes a much healthier choice to cake donuts with chocolate icing. I even use the spread for topping my homemade brownies and cupcakes.
The year I hosted both a German and a Korean girl I experienced my first major culture clash. Germans are encouraged to argue about everything. They argue with their teachers and even their parents all to stimulate creative thinking. When the German girl received a bad grade on a math test, she argued with the teacher, stating he had taught the chapter poorly. He conceded, giving her a second chance to improve the grade.
The Korean is taught to never speak back to an elder. In fact, in parts of Korea it is still considered impertinent for a child to even look into their elders’ eyes while speaking. My Korean girl showed only the best of manners at all times, never displaying any anger or displeasure.
Now I had an outspoken German on one hand and a polite, retiring Korean on the other. We all got off to a rocky start, but by the end of their exchange year, the German had learned to curtail a bit of her arguing, while the Korean had learned to speak up for herself. The two became close friends.
Upon returning to Seoul, my Korean took a taxi from the airport to her home. The driver assumed she was a visitor, taking the long way to the address. She spoke up; informing him she knew what he was up to. He almost fainted at her courage to call him on it!
God fulfilled his purpose for my life through my priceless “imported” children.
Suddenly I feel hungry for a taste of chocolate. Nutella, anyone?
“I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west.” Isaiah 43:5.
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