This week’s ROOM contributor is Kyle Murray, Honduras Country C0-Director with his wife, Cassie Murray. Together, Kyle and Cassie have helped build programs in Costa Rica as well as Honduras. Kyle usually leaves all the communicating to Cassie (here& here ), but we are all excited when he shares his heart and wisdom with us!
In the past few years I have come to enjoy spicy foods. The months leading up to our journey to Central America I ate a lot of Mexican dishes and tried spicy foods at many of the restaurants we visited. At home, I would add jalapenos and habaneros to our family dinners.
When we arrived in Costa Rica the first night we had to travel an additional 4 hours to our hotel. Our driver stopped for dinner at a “soda”(local Costa Rican restaurant) for some “comida tipica” (typical food). This would be the equivalent of showing up in Philadelphia and going to a cheese steak place or arriving in New Orleans and going straight to Bourbon Street.
We were definitely out of place.
We chose a few items at the cafeteria-style counter and we ate. The food wasn’t bad, but there was one thing missing: flavor. Each day we tried new things, went to a few restaurants, and never once had anything spicy or flavorful. We even went to a Mexican restaurant in a bigger city close to San Jose while visiting an orphanage, yet somehow the food still tasted like “comida tipica.”
Was there some kind of conspiracy going on? Would the Japanese restaurant taste like typical Costa Rican cuisine as well?
I question whether it was a choice the restaurants were making, or a matter of necessity. Is it possible that adding flavor would turn people away? Would people be able to handle a sudden dive into jalapenos and habaneros?
Sometimes our mission field is only able to accept and receive those things of which of which they are accustomed or with which they are comfortable. Whether you are dealing with babies, teenagers, senior citizens, this is your challenge as a Christian. We are the salt of the Earth. We cant go around Honduras, the U.S., or Africa handing out spices and flavor to every person and trying to make people change something that is ingrained in their lives. It is our job to reflect Christ and slowly expose the love of Christ and the word of God, which is so full of flavor and spices. Our daily walk has so much more to gain than monotonous habit. Sometimes we confuse our Christian culture with true flavor of Christ. In your life right now, there are people that need to have the flavor of Christ in their life. They need you to love them. They don’t need to be smothered with Christian culture, but they need to build a slow trust and see that you are living how the Bible tells us to live. They need to see you loving others, helping others, taking care of your parents, helping out someone having financial difficulties, holding babies and then it will not take long before they will crave this flavor and this kind of life. Once they have a taste of the true Salt, the Holy Spirit will fill this void and they will never want to go back to the food that they were accustomed to for so long.
This is not an easy process. Some days it seems so much easier to just eat what the locals eat and get through the day, but God did not put us here to remain lukewarm. He did not equip us with the fruits of the spirit to go through the motions day in and day out. It is hard work, but try to start adding some Christ-like flavor to your day and it won’t be long before you can go full jalapeno.
No matter where you are, people will notice, people will react, and God will be pleased with your flavor experimentation. We are the peppers of the Earth.
To contribute to the Murray family’s work please visit their Razoo page or send a check to Reach Out Orphanage Ministries • P.O. Box 5882, Concord, NC 28027 with Murray Family in the memo line.