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Not Prince Hamlet

"Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse."

Like A Knife to the Heart

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

So the church youth group leaves tonight for a week-long mission trip to Belize. As part of their experience there, our young people will stay a night with a local village family. It is recommended that the youth bring with them a small gift for that family.

Yesterday a parent called to ask if a swiss army-type knife would be an appropriate gift. I told her that it didn't strike me as inappropriate, but that two of the adult leaders had been to Belize before and would be better able to speak to it. "If you don't hear from me," I told the conscientious parent, "assume it's okay."

So I promptly emailed our two adult leaders with Belizian experience with the query, and here, in full, is the response of one of them:
KNIFE
A knife as a gift from a lover means that the love will soon end.
A knife placed under the bed during childbirth will ease the pain of labor.
If a friend gives you a knife, you should give him a coin, or your friendship will soon be broken.
It will cause a quarrel if knives are crossed at the table.
It is bad luck to close a pocket knife unless you were the one who opened it.
Knife falls, gentleman calls;
Fork falls, lady calls;
Spoon falls, baby calls.

Talk about your cross-cultural mission theology!

I don't think I'll be sharing this with that parent.
posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 8:41 AM

4 Comments:

In New Guinea knives are such a commodity that you can use them as payment for services. A missionary relative of a friend hired help to build his house, plant his garden etc with a stock of Swiss Army Knives that he took with him. Soon he had a whole village wanting to help him. Great setting for sharing the Gospel.
commented by Blogger dlsupinger, 5:41 PM  
Also, the beautiful Jose Gonzales song "Heartbeats" is a cover of a song first performed by a Swedish techno duo named, "The Knife."

Just sayin'.
commented by Blogger Not Prince Hamlet, 7:37 AM  
Hope they were sure that knife got in the checked luggage, rather than the carry-on...
commented by Anonymous Point of Order, 9:23 PM  
That picture scares me...
Apparently to Chinese people giving a knife also means that the relationship is ended...
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 10:48 PM  

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