Monthly Archives: May 2013

Buying Hemorrhoid Cream in Central America

Not having a vast knowledge of the Spanish language can be challenging at times. A few years ago, a friend asked me to go buy him some Hemorrhoid cream.  I am often asked to purchase medicine for those who can’t afford it. In fact, I have 3 prescriptions laying on the bar that I will get filled later today. We appreciate your giving which allows us to do so. I am well known at the local pharmacy. Unfortunately, it isn’t because of the ministry or the fact that I spend so much money there. The reason I am so popular is because, when I don’t know the word for what I am looking for, I try every way possible to come back with my medicine. Never come home empty handed! The hemorrhoid cream led to quite possibly the most embarrassing situation I have been in here in Nicaragua. Although it happened 2 years ago, it never seems to go away. However, I walked away with a tube of cream that fit the bill.

A few months ago, there was a lady who came to me with a prescription for some medicine dealing  with a feminine issue. April consulted her and learned that she really needed the medicine. It was never really discussed with me what the medicine was or what it did, nor will it be discussed with anyone in the future! Suffice to say, I had a piece of paper with the name of a medicine written on it and I had no clue what it was or what it was for. I bee bopped into the pharmacy with a smile on my face. The ladies all smiled and greeted me by name. Hola, Don Joel!” I handed them the paper and smiled. I noticed the girls expression was one of a puzzling nature.  She went to the shelf and returned and asked me something that I wasn’t real sure what she meant. So, I replied, “I don’t know, it’s not for me.” When I said that, it was like a punch line. All the pharmacists busted out laughing. And the attendant said, “We know.”  We still laugh about that kind of stuff hat happens day to day with me.

    The kicker was, last night I was invited to speak at a home study group for youth and young adults. It was a very small and humble home and over 20 people crowded in. There were no bells and whistles…no basketball court, no amusing attractions, AND it was a Friday night. It was quite refreshing to know that people, even young people will gather to hear the word and need nothing else to hold their attention. The topic was “Examine yourselves to see if you are I the faith.”

 As I walked in the door and greeted everyone, I saw the pharmacist. She was already laughing. I knew why. She remembers me from the prescription.

Prov 17:22A joyful heart is good medicine,
    but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

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The Hamburger

It’s hard to get a good hamburger here in Nicaragua. We have been to Burger King in the capital city of Managua and have been told that “we are out of burger patties.” That gives you an idea of how it goes here. Where we live, an hour from Managua, there is only one Hamburger place, Terry’s Diner. Terry is an American from California. He married a Nicaraguan lady and when they retired, they moved to Jinotepe and opened an American style restaurant. He is a nice guy and offers free Wi-Fi to attract folks to the spot.
I have a Nicaragua friend, Elias, who is a really zealous Christian. He loves to share the greatness of God. One day a couple months ago, Elias and I were evangelizing in the square in Jinotepe. We had a few guys with us, sort of discipling them. After the tracts were all passed out and we were getting a bit hungry, I decided to treat the guys to a burger. Terry’s was the only option. Elias is old school Nicaragua. He is a rice and beans kind of guy. I could tell right away he was out of place. He watched intently as we dressed our burger. He was mimicking our every move. Lettuce, tomato, mustard, onion, then we put on the top bun.
Every thing changed at that moment. Elias dropped his head in disappointment. He shook his head slowly and methodically. He was acting so strange. He had all of our attention. “What’s wrong?” I asked in Spanish. Elias looked up and slowly gestured to his burger. “I ate the top piece first!” He had eaten the top piece of the bun thinking it was a roll. It was then I realized that I was sitting at the table with people who had never had a sandwich of any kind. We roared and laughed and made fun, because we enjoy our time together. I am sure one day Elias will help me experience something from his culture and I will draw the laugh. Thanks for your Prayers, The Gass Family

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