poitu varam

THE CHRONICLES OF A FLEDGLING MISSIONARY CALLED JOLLYBEGGAR "i still gaze fondly at all of the pictures, drink ginger beer, bunch my food, listen to punjabi dj tunes, play my dholki, wear my sarong (around the house only because in canada it is still really uncommon for a man to wear a wraparound skirt in public) and speak way too much of the differences between east and west..."

Sunday, August 21, 2005


august 21: day 12: sunday (part 4)

i was on the phone with mrs jollybeggar and the boys (who were visiting the in-laws while i was away- why should i have all the fun, right?) when ben and dan got back.

the guys had with them my beautiful new dholki. this instrument was no souvenir- it was real: a thing of beauty. however, the surprise came with a bag that ben handed me, his eyes twinkling. i assured him that it wasn't mine and he, of course, assured me that it was. inside was a salvar, bought for mrs jollybeggar by mrs lazarus, and a sarong for me!

i don't care which language- there are no words to describe my feelings in response to this kindness. i wrote the lazarus family a letter, but i'm afraid that it was incapable of speaking the full truth, for this was too profound- in any event, i tried to say thank you.

the guys in the topaz showed me how to play the dholki and wrap the sarong and i rushed up to my room to lose the shorts underneath.

amazingly cool, i can understand why these things are worn by men and women all over the world. i don't think i'll be preaching in it, though... i'll leave that to danglin' dan.

i keep going through the pictures in my digital camera- never since the boys were born have i looked at some pictures again and again, incapable of keeping the smile inside. there is simply joy in this recollection.

we waited up and spoke together of many things; dan, al, ben and i. colleen and ruby had gone to jennifer's house with mohamed in the afternoon, and then went on to mohamed and ivon's house in the evening. i felt quite jealous of this (for i had really wanted to go to both homes myself upon our return- it just hadn't worked out that way) but i knew that there is no place for jealousy in love. i will just have to visit their home next time i come.

interesting how easy it is to say 'next time i come' compared to how difficult it was to initially commit to going. the first cut is the deepest.

to my pleasant surprise, mohamed (w/ ivon) drove ruby and colleen back to the hotel in the auto rather than sending them with a driver... it took nearly two hours, but was no doubt an experience that colleen will never forget! we talked and laughed and took pictures of each other, putting off the inevitable separation that would have to take place in the same way that teenagers seem to say goodbye about fifty times at the end of camp.

both mohamed and ivon were experiencing God's healing- in his throat and head and in her feet. this was great to see. not only was mohamed experiencing God's grace and mercy in physical healing, but he had been approved by the free methodist church in sri lanka's board of administration to go ahead and find a place within a specific monthly budget. eustace and dan and ben had gone with mohamed earlier in the day to look at three possible new sites for mohamed's church. this was all exciting, for it meant that he would be able to have one church service together with his people, rather than constant visitations which can be so much more tiring.

God continues to provide in response to faithfulness.

eventually all of the stalling was done and our friends got back into their three-out-of-four-speed, three wheel auto and started out on the two-hour journey home. this poitu varam was as difficult as the one with lazarus that morning (which at this point, because of the fullness of the day, felt like a week earlier.)

i went to bed not knowing when i would spend the night in this country again, and wondering why time seems to move so fast when you are happiest. i eventually dropped off to sleep as mohamed and ivon drove home and my wife and sons ate lunch on the other side of the world.

interesting note: i am (in real time, this being the end of january, 2006, as i post these final journal entries) stalling in the same way even now. i know that i am just about done transcribing these written accounts and it is kinda bothering me... it's as if leaving the final entry unwritten will somehow delay closure to a splendid chapter of my life that i can never reopen.

recently i viewed a will smith movie called 'hitch.' there is this scene in it where one of the characters, a guy named albert, has had his heart broken for the first time. he confesses something odd that feels familiar to my sri lankan experience somehow: he says that he doesn't want to move past the pain or the sense of loss because (now i'm probably putting words into his mouth here) these feelings legitimize the love that he has experienced.

i have said many times that i was only in the country for ten days, but that this was long enough to fall in love. drippy or not, that's what happened.

i sit here typing late on a saturday night, knowing that my friends in sri lanka are worshiping together right now.


  • At 1/30/2006, Blogger Cinder said…

    it's so amazing to hear of everything you have brought from your experience...it's a true testimony to your western friends in terms of showing what's truly most important in life!

    i'm signing off of the blogging world for a time...it's become an escape/distraction which God's telling me to put aside for now.

    i look forward to looking through more of the journals when i sign back on!

  • At 5/17/2006, Blogger Scott A. Edwards said…

    Hey, you have a great blog here! You really are very talented and deserve an honest compliment, congradulations! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

    I have a multi-level marketing site/blog. It successfully covers multi-level marketing related stuff.

    Come and check it out if you get time, Scott.

  • At 5/18/2006, Blogger jollybeggar said…

    i was going to delete scott's comment (thinking that perhaps his face in his profile was just a spammer file photo), but hey, if you are interested in somehow getting a piece of the pyramid pie in order to have the freedom that only money can provide (or is it 'the only freedom that money can provide?') then go for it...

    you may have missed the point of this blog and then again you may not have- depends what you decide to do with all that north american cash once you have it.


  • At 3/16/2007, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Where did you find it? Interesting read here


Post a Comment

<< Home