If I Didn’t Laugh

Posted on: August 15, 2012 Written by
If I Didn’t Laugh
      Photography by: Pavel_Kolotenko from iStock    

 …The Difference One Number Can Make!

My husband and I had been married four months when our mission appointed us to go overseas. We were giddy with excitement and eager to do this “deputation-and-fundraising” thing right. My husband was born and raised on the mission field, so he knew that the first thing to do when writing a prayer letter was to get everyone’s attention. He had a great idea. We worked hard to make our prayer letter look like a passport. The outside was decorated like our own treasured passports and the inside with our passport photos, numbers, etc. The idea was to have our passport number be a scripture reference that meant a lot to us in that season of our lives. We finished it up, sent it to the printer, and then sent it out to our mailing list. Imagine our shock when my mother-in-law called a few days later. “Is this an announcement?” she asked. “About what?” my husband replied. He quickly hung up the phone and scrambled for our prayer letter. He was mortified! My passport “number” was supposed to be 1 Samuel 12:24, which reads: Only fear the Lord and serve Him in truth with all your heart. For consider what great things He has done for you. Instead, I had written 2 Samuel 12:24, which reads: Then David comforted his wife, Bathsheba, and went in to her and lay with her, and she bore a son, and he called his name Solomon. Needless to say, we held our breath for a few days, but only ONE other person commented on the mistake. Though we were very happy no one caught it, we did wonder how many people actually read our letter.


© 2012 Women of the Harvest.

Question to Consider: Got any funny stories to share? We’d love you to submit your funny stories for publication — language-learning blunders, insect and rodent hair-raisers, priceless MK quotes, cross-cultural escapades.

But if you don’t want to that, put ’em in the comment section here…may laughter abound!

About the author

My husband and I have been in Kenya now for 24 years. We work with the Maasai tribe in a remote area of Kenya. We do community-based health care (immunizations, HIV/AIDS counseling, clean water projects). I teach Sunday School, homeschool my own kids, and run a small guest house. My husband was born in Kenya as a MK. All three of our children were also.

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  • Thanks for the good laugh today! “If I didn’t laugh..” loved the story about the newsletter. We’ve been doing letters for 36 years and, yes, one wonders who out there is really reading them 🙂

  • anonymous

    I had been teaching a group of teenagers some basics of volleyball out in a courtyard & finally got to the point where they knew enough to play. So I asked them to divide up. Or so I thought. When I saw a bunch of horrified looks on their faces, I asked my neighbor what I’d actually said… OK everyone, now let’s take our clothes off!

  • Sue

    Yeah, I can relate to that one! I remember struggling to make sentences in my Swahili language school. When I chatted with one teacher, he asked me how I’d spent my lunch break. I replied “I went to sleep.” But what I didn’t know was that the infinitive “to sleep” is exactly like the indirect object “with you”, hence “I slept with you” is what came out. If Africans could blush, he did!

  • The Lord does have ways of keeping us humble, doesn’t He? Like when we showed up at a church and the pastor (new since our last time there) said “We’ve been praying for Gary and Melody and now that we’ve seen them, we know we need to pray all the more!” =)

  • Hilarious! Loved it. I literally covered my mouth and howled with laughter. Thanks!

  • That’s great! Thanks for telling your stories. I needed a good laugh today.

    As for prayer letters, I think many people tuck them away with intentions of reading them at a later time, but then maybe they never do. With email, they get lost under more urgent letters. It is frustrating, but that’s how it goes.

  • Becky B

    Ha ha ha Too funny! I loved the responses from other people, too. Well, I’ve learned that even if you DO cry, it still usually makes a good story later. Sometimes MUCH later…