8.11.2014

Missionary Mondays - The Gospel vs. Eating Dogs, Worms & Chicken Feet

Welcome to week 2 of my August series called 'Missionary Mondays'!

Missionary Mondays are weekly updates on how God is guiding Dave and I in our journey to Burma & Thailand. We hope these posts will help answer any questions but if you have any other questions please ask! We love questions.

For previous updates on what God is doing please read the following:

Week 1- A recap on meeting the Holmes who serve in Thailand + an overview of the ministry there.

Overdue Update - This gives a general overview of our upcoming move and plans.

Pam & Zama in Myanmar - The people we are going to serve with in Burma have been so kind as to write a blog post all about the work they are doing over there. I hope you will check it out.

Today's title might have caught your eye and trust me, when I heard about this it caught my attention. 


Here's the story. My Dad had told me about a group of people in Thailand who eat dog. No, they don't eat their pets but yes they raise dogs and eat them (kind of how we raise cows except they are dogs). Anyways... I lived in Korea and they ate dog there too so it wasn't a huge shocker but seriously, dog? 

Well, during our meeting with the Holmes this topic came up. Apparently there is a tribe in Thailand that do indeed eat dog. I won't give you details but let's just say it's a quick kill and not slow and torturous like they do in Korea. 

We discussed this more and this is how the conversation went down: 

Me: "Mrs. Holmes! You gotta warn me if we go somewhere and they are going to serve us dog. And when I say I am going to eat it, what I really mean is that I'm going to dump it on Dave's plate when the people aren't looking". 
Mrs. Holmes: "Ok! I will give you some kind of signal. We will have to think of one". 
Me: "My dog's name is Static". 
Mrs. Holmes: "Staaaaatiiic! That's it! That's it! When they bring the dog out to eat I will say Static! Staaaatic! and you will know!" 

*I'm so glad my dog can't read this blog* 

They also told me that they sometimes eat worms (not ok) and chicken feet. The chicken feet didn't surprise me because they did that in Brazil.  

Also, Mrs. Holmes told me about a time where she was having a special celebration for the kids at the orphanage. She offered them their choice of meat: pork, chicken, beef, & I can't remember the last option. Apparently the kids got really quiet and when she asked what was wrong they said they wanted dog. So, she went and bought them dog meat.  

Ok! If you are still reading this by now *HIGH FIVE*. I'm going to be honest - the thought of eating a dog, a worm or chicken feet makes my stomach flip flop. It isn't my first choice or actually it isn't a choice at all for me but I've made the decision to mentally brace for that moment. Because here is the deal: what if someone that doesn't know Jesus yet gives me something to eat and I refuse? First, that is rude! Second, that could turn them away from listening to what we have to say about Jesus. 

Is this a hard idea / concept for me to swallow (ha ha, good pun, eh)? It sure is! BUT I hope if that day ever comes that I will pick Jesus over my food preferences. 

Also, I know the idea of eating 'weird' foods is offensive and gross to a lot of Americans but that is how other cultures are. It's part of going overseas and it is part of loving people. My Korean friend told me that she thought hamburgers were super hard to eat when she came to America and we think it's completely normal to slap a cow between a bun add a little pig to it and chomp it down. =) Oh and my Korean kids didn't like mac'n'cheese and trust me, I totally sacrificied a box of that to give to them. They said: "Teacher! This is not very delicious." I'm just glad I didn't share my black beans with them. 

With all that said ... please pray for me! I know in the big scheme of missions this is not a huge deal but I'm telling ya if they put 'Static' in front of me it's gonna be a big test of faith. 

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What is the weirdest food you have ever eaten? 
What's your feedback on this post? 

I don't even know what kind of proper question to ask because really, I'm not going to ask you if you would eat dog meat but, if I could ask one question, it would be this one: what are you willing to sacrifice for the gospel? It might not be eating dog but wherever you are, serving Jesus comes at a cost. 

29 comments:

  1. this would be the hardest part for me! especially if i knew it was a dog! i think i would rather just not know what it is and try it!

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  2. I 100% understand. Sometimes not knowing is better. Hopefully this scenario won't happen though. =)

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  3. oh and you should know I've had a pet duck before and can't eat duck now. nor can I eat rabbits because they are so cute =). I'm sure you understand!

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  4. Such a good question - what am I willing to sacrifice!! I guess my own will - I want to run and do fertility treatments, but know that God hasn't called us to do that. Trusting that he will give you grace and strength to eat whatever you have to while you are there! I bet you are going to have a lot of interesting stories!

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  5. I did eat chicken feet once. The taste was fine, it was spitting out all the little bones that I had a problem with. Eating dog would definitely be hard, though. When I went to South Africa we spent the afternoons at an after school program. After the lesson, the kids would be served these sandwiches with a mystery meat on it. The leaders told us it was often the only meal they received all day. Just looking at the sandwiches made me a little sick to my stomach, but when the kids offered one of our leaders a bite, she took it. Afterward she said something like, "If I didn't take it, it would basically be saying their food wasn't good enough for me." Her act was a beautiful representation of Jesus to those children who didn't know Him, and it's something I'll never forget.

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  6. I've eaten jellyfish and shark's fin soup....not by choice. I've pretended to eat pickled nutmeg that an "uncle" from my hometown in Malaysia bought for me, but actually I adeptly hid it. I will admit to hiding a variety of foods over the years, because some things I just can't stomach--yet you're right, you never want to offend or hurt anyone's feelings. I've also eaten fish head and chicken foot curry, but that's easy, I just eat the curry and give the rest to whoever wants it. In Malaysia, people really like eating, and if you are a picky eater, it usually okay because my friends would just eat whatever I didn't want to eat. My Dad is better at trying any and every food than I am--he's eaten tarantula. And yes, now that I'm with Angel he's a good resource for eating certain foods. My stomach is not the toughest of stomachs, so sometimes I can literally and honestly just say politely that I'm sick right now and can't eat anything--I think in many areas they actually expect Westerners to get sick regularly and at least according to Chinese medicine they don't believe in feeding meat to someone with an upset stomach so that's a very normal excuse.
    But YES the gospel is worth eating dog if it comes down to that. Angel has already said he'll eat dog in China if he's presented with the opportunity.

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  7. The will, in my opinion, is one of the hardest things to surrender. Although that is probably hard for you guys I'm sure God will reward you. Obedience isn't always easy! I hope we do have interesting stories. The planning process has been interesting (and hard) in and of itself. However, I'm so excited to get over there.

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  8. You have one up on me with the chicken feet! I was used to them but always snuck them on someone's plate or put them back in the big pot of food =).


    That is super nice of your of your leader to eat that meat. I can't imagine only getting 'one good meal' with protein each day. We are so blessed here!

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  9. Pickled nutmeg??? I hope you uncle never reads these comments ;). Dave can eat pretty much anything so I'm hoping he will be a big help when we are in Asia. AND GIRL ! Tarantula? My fear of spiders is so ridiculous I don't know if I could do that one. eeek! I had no idea Chinese medicine practiced ' no meat ' if you are sick. That's really interesting.


    Angel is funny! Dave too said he would like to try it just to see what it is like. I personally wouldn't =)

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  10. hehe...oh man, this definitely made me laugh...and honestly? because i've forgotten how shocking it is to americans to eat dog! one of our landlord's dogs went missing here in cambodia, and they think someone stole it to eat it. it was a stupid, very unintelligent dog anyway; not much of a loss to us! but you're right on key - food is SUCH an integral part of learning about and integrating into a culture. sure, my khmer friends make food sometimes that doesn't line up with my american palate, but it's the relationships and community that's far more important than anything i put in my mouth.


    and - sheep intestines. in sudan. and cow intestines in cambodia. both - not on purpose.

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  11. I've done a lot of thinking on this topic. As a nutritionist, I have had so many clients share recipes, favorite foods, and some very UNIQUE food customs with me. The key is, that their sharing is always a gesture of kindness and friendliness. I always try at least one bite of anything that I am offered, to show that I appreciate the offering. However, I never feel obligated to finish anything. ;) The one exception is when a former boss served raw octopus for dinner---I completely moved it to my husbands plate when no one was looking. I just couldn't stomach it. ha!

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  12. Hooray just read this and am so excited for your adventure!!

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  13. I think the previous comments summed it up well: not eating something like that could be a turn-off when it comes to the gospel, so just eat up! But I'm hoping you never hear the code word! haha :)

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  14. I'm so glad you are laughing! I'm 99% positive if they served dog here PITA would be there ASAP. I can't believe someone stole a dog for food! That's crazy. I like that you say that the relationships are better than food. I'll try and remember that when the time comes.


    sheep intestines? Cow Intestines? Girl! YOu are brave!

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  15. I like your viewpoint! It is definitely an act of kindness and friendliness on their part. Raw octopus? That's gross. In Korea they eat live baby octopi and I never could go to a restaurant that did that. I really would have either:
    a. choked
    b. vomited
    c. fake passed out =)

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  16. Thanks! We are excited too. The planning stage has been quiet the ordeal but it will be awesome and we are excited to see God do great things !

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  17. Agreed! I hope I never hear that key word either! EEEk and if you visit I'll do my best not to take you there =)

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  18. I've been thinking a lot lately about what parts of culture I'd have to accept even if it's not my preferences in order that the Gospel may be preached and the love felt. Good conclusion though I know the test, if it comes, may possible be hard to swallow.

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  19. SometimesphotojenikAugust 13, 2014 at 3:49 PM

    That picture of your dog just cracked me up!! It is so hard to find the balance between not being rude and just not wanting to try whatever just walked onto your plate a few seconds before. I'm sure you'll figure out how to do that and if you ever land up trying dog (or chicken feet, or worms) I would love to hear about it! ;)

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  20. I'm glad you have been thinking about it too. & yes it might be hard to swallow but I'll be ok =)

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  21. I'm glad you are cracking up about it! I understand about the balance part. I'll be sure to share if that ever happen however I hope it never does.

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  22. hahaha i SO understand!!!!


    it's actually funny b/c the other day at work... i was showing a coworker a picture of Albus & a french lady walked up and said "oh a rabbit - that looks yummy! we french people eat rabbits!" i told her to stay away from my house lol

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  23. Oh my word! I can't believe she said that about your pet! That's crazy. You should of teased her and told her you eat humans. ha ha! and i'm totally kidding!

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  24. haha!! then i would get really strange looks at work!

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  25. Wow, choosing to share Jesus over being picky about food... never really thought about that! But it has happened a few times here in Peru when friends/brothers in Christ would serve us Gringos sheep or cuy (guinea pig)... kind of freaked me out at first, but I got over it and ate because they are SO generous and giving, and you can't refuse something when it's given to you! And they were feeding us and thanking us for serving them and discipling them, so obviously we had to eat :) I know you will be able to handle it if the time comes and you are served something you don't want to eat!

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  26. I have heard about the guinea pig! I had a friend try it and she said it wasn't bad. I'm glad to hear you were able to eat what they put in front of you! Thanks for the encouragement.

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  27. Kind of random but I googled "my dog eats worms" and this image popped up. We recently got a puppy and don't know what he is exactly, but he looks so much like your dog!!! What kind is yours?! Thanks!

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  28. Thank you for taking some time to write this post. My dog won’t eat and there is no obvious reason why. Many dog owners get worried as soon as their dogs start refusing food. However, the reasons are so varied that you have to carefully observe your dog before panicking. See more http://dogsaholic.com/food_treats/my-dog-wont-eat.html

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