I try not to post specifics of our daily experiences with rural living. I think it would be awful to offend someone. But I assure you, I could write an entire blog about it! I decided to share just a couple of our recent interesting experiences just to remember a snippet of how different rural Alabama is from suburban Atlanta.
The other night Andy and I were about to turn in for the night. It was probably ten o'clock. When the phone rang we were startled. I was thinking it was probably a family member, one of our brothers. As it turns out it was a neighbor with a strange request. Andy said he was very excited, like a kid on Christmas morning. He had just gotten two new puppies that day and was calling to ask permission to "coon hunt" on our property. He promised "to not run through the corn or mess nothing up." Andy obliged and we fell asleep laughing and whispering to one another our buzz word, "China". The coon hunting was a first. But something I really love about this "culture" is that no one is afraid to ask for help. And on the flip side, all of our neighbors are very generous and helpful towards us. Community is important here. But what the heck is the purpose of raccoon hunting?? :)
Here's another interesting scenario. Andy has hired one of our teen neighbors to help him this summer. He is a precious boy, entering his senior year of high school, very kind and considerate. But his family has struggled financially, as do most families who live here. His parents both have health problems that have disabled them from working. Needless to say, his living conditions are a little strained and his sphere of influence is small. But still, Andy and I were both completely shocked when Andy took him to the farmer's market in Auburn and he whispered, "Mr. Andy, this is the first time I've seen a Chinese man in person." This is one of the things we are most uncomfortable with about this area- there are ONLY Caucasians. It is strange, so STRANGE, for us. Praying we can experience many new things with our new friend and his eyes can be opened to so much more of what God has created. And looking forward to all this boy will teach us as well. Meeting him, his Mom, and so many of our other kind neighbors has been the biggest highlight of living here. Praying that God will use us for his glory here!