Jonahs by Jet

Making Missionaries

Now Keri, David, and their mom had to pack. First, they packed for Mission Institute in Michigan, where they would learn how to be missionaries. They also had to pack what they would take with them on the plane to Nigeria and what they would send on the boat. Finally, they arrived at Andrews University in Michigan!

The next day, Mom drove David and Keri to the airport. Keri could hardly keep her feet on the ground. Dad was coming home after almost a month in Nigeria. She did a little jig in the waiting area! It seemed like hundreds of strange faces walked by before they finally glimpsed Dad’s familiar smile in the crowd.

“Dad! Dad!” David and Keri raced to hug him.

“We sure missed you!” Keri whispered in Dad’s ear.

“And I missed all of you too!” Dad grinned.

Early the next morning, Mom walked down the hill with David and Keri to register them for children’s day camp, while Dad slept off his “jet lag.”

“This sounds like fun,” Keri whispered to David while Mom talked with the counselor. “There are field trips and swimming and hikes and crafts and stories!” Keri added.

“Yeah,” David agreed. “We’ll probably have lots more fun at day camp than Mom and Dad will have in their classes!”

David and Keri grinned at the thought of their parents going to school.

“What did you do today?” Mom asked David and Keri as they returned from day camp one afternoon.

“I made this yarn art, Mom!” Keri waved a rainbow-colored craft.

“We played capture-the-flag,” David said enthusiastically. Then he grinned. “And what did you learn in school, Mom and Dad?” David liked to remind his parents that they were in classes all day while he played! As they walked toward the pool for family swim time, Mom answered David’s question.

“We had an experienced missionary speak to us today. She told us there are three important traits for missionaries to have. The first one is adaptability. The second on is adaptability too. Can you guess the third one?”

“Hmm . . .” David and Keri looked stumped for a second. Then David laughed. “The third one is adaptability too!”

But Keri looked puzzled. “What did the missionary mean by a . . . adap . . . adaptability?”

“I know!” David answered. “It’s like the first night here when they didn’t have enough beds for us and we made one out of three chairs!”

“That’s a perfect example!” Mom agreed.

“But why did she say it three times?” Keri was still confused.

“She said it three times because it is very important!” Mom explained.

Keri smiled. She was starting to understand. “But why is adaptability so important for missionaries?” she wondered out loud.

“When we get to Nigeria,” Dad answered, “we’ll probably be trying new foods and getting used to a new culture—lots of different ways of doing things. We need to be patient with changes and be happy in any situation.”

Dad added, “When I was a little boy, my grandma used to say, ‘If life serves you lemons, make lemonade!’ ”

David and Keri giggled.

Just then they had arrived at the pool door, but they were surprised and disappointed to see that it was locked. A sign said “Closed for Repairs.” Keri’s heart sank. She was so looking forward to a grand splash off the diving board.

“Oh no!” David groaned. “Now what do we do?”

“We could take a walk.” Mom suggested.

“Naw.” David and Keri shook their heads.

“We could watch a video!” Keri looked hopeful.

“But Mom and I need some exercise after sitting all day,” Dad objected.

“I’ve got it!” David exclaimed. “Let’s go for a bike ride!” Everybody agreed that that was a great idea as they hurried back to the dorm. They carefully wheeled four bikes out of the dorm room and strapped on their helmets.

“Where to?” Dad asked.

“How about that trail around the campus that goes into the woods?” David suggested.

“Sounds good.” Mom agreed.

Keri nodded eagerly.

The Skau family had a terrific bike ride. They even stopped to pick some yummy berries.

“Hey, Keri!” David teased, “You have a purple mustache!”

“Let me see your tongue,” Keri demanded. David stuck out a purple tongue, and the whole family laughed.

At worship that night, the story was about Paul and Silas singing in prison. For the song, Keri chose “In everything give thanks, in every situation . . .”

“You know,” Mom smiled thoughtfully at David and Keri, “I think today you two were good examples of being joyful in every situation. Even though we were disappointed about the pool being closed, we had a fantastic bike ride instead.”

“Yeah, we would have missed those delicious berries if we went swimming!” David added.

“Hey, Mom,” Keri asked, “was that the kind of adaptability the missionary was talking about?”

“It sure was!” Mom nodded.

Suddenly a silly picture flashed through Keri’s head. “When the pool was locked today, that was like life serving lemons.” Keri could picture a whole pool full of lemons. “But we made lemonade out of it!” She could imagine David and Dad and Mom and herself each with a giant straw drinking a poolful of lemonade!

“I think you two are going to be first-rate missionaries,” Dad said.

“Yes!” Mom added. “You are adaptable, adaptable and . . .”

“Adaptable!” they finished together with chuckles.

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