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    Thursday, August 21, 2008

    Mild-Mannered Missionary Moments with Mary

    The first thing you need to know is that I’ve been given permission to share the misadventures of my friend Mary with my wonderful blog readers and random strangers who happen along Breathe In Breathe Out in their search for tips on asthma management. I think Mary’s exploits have left her a few muffins short of a continental breakfast. There’s no other explanation for her giving me free reign to relate her wacky experiences however I see fit. So let’s get to it. Here’s the first in what will be an ongoing tell-all peek into the life of a mild-mannered missionary, mom, and married woman.

    The Decoy

    Mary grew up somewhere. I’m thinking it was California because she looks like one of those babes you see everywhere in Cali. You know--beautiful blond hair, big blue eyes, and a cute little figure that makes me jealous. At some point, probably between the ages of 16 and 25, she met a charming and dangerous man. We’ll call him Bill. Mary fell in love with Bill despite his predilection for radical service to God. They got married. I’m sure there’s more to this story, but that will have to wait for another time.

    Now, Bill was (and is) a pretty wild guy. His idea of fun is sneaking Bibles into places where the government contends they’re not wanted or needed. Bill knows differently. So does Mary. She and Bill took a little trip to China back in the nineties.

    Their mission? Establish a base camp in Hong Kong. Smuggle Bibles across the border (this was when Hong Kong was considered part of the Western Empire, before China’s lease with Great Britain was up—yeah, I don’t understand that either.)

    The plan? Members of the team, including Bill and Mary, would hide Bibles in suitcases along with normal stuff like clothes and hair dryers in order to fool the scanning machines at the border. In addition to suitcases, there were other means of concealing the Bibles—skirts with pockets sown on the inside. Obviously, the skirt wearing fell to Mary, since Bill would attract too much attention in one. (Mary says he has really nice legs.)

    So, the day the operation was going down, Mary donned her clunky, Bible-laden skirt and thwacked her way to the border patrol station. Bill, being the extreme guy that he is, threw caution to the wind and loaded his backpack with Bibles, not even adding so much as a sweatshirt to conceal the contraband.

    Mary got to go first. Being particularly suited to the role (blond hair and all), she decided to go for the dumb tourist approach. She moseyed her way through the checkpoint, ‘forgetting’ to put her suitcase through the x-ray machine. She only got a few steps before a guard caught up with her, waving his arms and yelling, “Hi. Hello. Hi. Hello. Hello. Hi.” Two words—unmistakable meaning. Mary made a valiant, “Who me?” argument, but nobody bought her clueless routine.

    They scanned her suitcases and found the Bibles. Our lovely, and very innocent-looking Mary was hauled off down a long hall to a cold room where she met Hel Ga, the sole member of the Chinese Gestapo. Hel Ga confiscated all the Bibles in Mary’s suitcase while Mary nervously pondered her precarious place in the universe. When Hel Ga finished with the suitcase, she turned to wide-eyed Mary and demanded she remove the Bibles on her person.

    Mary, having already lost one of her intellect muffins at this point, decided to continue with her dumb blond routine. “What Bibles?” she asked.

    Hel Ga pointed to Mary’s skirt.

    “Oh, those Bibles.” Mary rooted around in her skirt and produced a couple of the books.

    “All of them,” said Hel Ga.

    Mary turned on the baby blues. “That is all of them.”

    They searched her, removing Bible after Bible from her skirt.

    Mary feigned surprise. “Oh, look at that. Where did those come from?”

    After taking every last one of her precious Bibles, Hel Ga held the door open and told Mary, “Welcome to China.”

    With tears in her eyes and a much lighter skirt, Mary shuffled off to find Bill and tell him what a failure she was at the whole Christian espionage game. But Bill wasn’t at all upset by Mary’s incident. In fact, he was grinning. While Mary provided an excellent distraction, Bill got through the check point without so much as a peep into his backpack. Mary was labeled ‘The Decoy’ and learned that she could use her special gifts of a pretty face, eye-catching figure, and uncannily accurate silly woman impersonation to further God’s kingdom by getting caught.

    Next time in Mild-Mannered Missionary Moments with Mary: The story of the Puking Angel.


    Anonymous said...

    On Evangeline's behalf, I will verify, this is indeed a true story, of my "other life". Imagine my surprise when I arrived in Hong Kong ready to do great things for God (at the prodding of my charming and dangerous husband, that is) only to be humbly used by the Lord as "the decoy". Blessed are the dumb blondes because they don't know what they're getting in to? No wonder we have more fun - no brains, no headaches :) Proof once again, the Lord uses the simple things to confound the wise.
    "MMM Mary"

    Beth K. Vogt said...

    Mary, I've got travel plans a couple of months from now . . . wanna' come along with me? Wear your skirt!

    carla stewart said...

    What a wonderful story! And such creative retelling. Not sure about the couple of muffins short thing - sounds like Mary is much more clever that the average California blonde Bible smuggler.

    Evangeline Denmark said...

    For the record, Mary is actually one smart cookie. My muffins metaphor simply refers to her lapse in judgment in giving me creative license to tell her stories.

    Deb said...

    LOL. I love that story! :) I'm a blog subscriber. I stumbled on your blog by a link of a link sometime ago and really enjoyed your writing style.

    Have a great weekend!