Recently, Andy and I noticed a rooster milling about the area where Frank cooks his food, right outside his little apartment. Upon further inspection, we found the chicken was tied to a bush. Later that night, our beloved Frank knocked on our door holding a hot pot of chicken. I answered the door and Frank gestured with the pot and handed it to me. I nearly dropped it because it was so stinking hot! Apparently, I’m a wimp. I thanked him and rushed into the kitchen to set the pot down, and then the two of us sat and ate. Frank indicated that the last piece was for “Boyyy.” I tried to explain that Andy was going to sleep, but that I would give it to him tomorrow. Frank’s usual big toothy grin was reduced by about half, so I knew he was pretty disappointed. I thanked him about ten times as he left.
Just then, Sarah emerged having put Andy to bed, and I told her what happened. We both agreed that, for the first time ever, we would get our son up out of bed. I carried Andy and his piece of chicken down to where Frank was washing dishes, much to the delight of them both! Andy sat in the driveway eating his chicken, while Frank beamed proudly that his little friend was enjoying his cooking. I asked Frank if he had chosen one of the loud chickens (lots of crowing around here). He answered, “Yes. Chicken,” apparently having no idea what I was asking.
While Andy was still chowing down, Frank popped into his apartment and retrieved a blue student workbook. He brought it to me and opened it up to the first page, holding it so he and I could both see what he had written. He read me all of the letters of the English alphabet and all the numbers 1-10, working hard to get them each correct. He then took me through the next several pages of basic English lessons. Every now and then, he would look at me for assistance, but he had clearly been working very hard, and was rightfully proud of his progress.
One of the things that Frank read from his book was, “This is an apple.” A couple days later, Andy, Bethany, and I brought some apples to Frank, and we all practiced saying “This is an apple.” I am so proud of this man for working hard to gain new knowledge, and I am so glad that Andy and I get to be his friend. It was an honor to share his chicken, especially since I knew that there would be one less “cock-a-doodle-do” the next morning! God is helping us build relationships with the people here, even those we never could have anticipated.