For Ross’ 27th birthday, I decided to throw him a party in the spirit of his favorite books of the Bible–Deuteronomy and Luke–two books very concerned about our relationship to the poor and partying.  Ross’ favorite chapter of Deuteronomy, 14, describes the tithe that the Israelites should make, “Spend the money for whatever you desire–oxen or sheep or wine or strong drink, whatever your appetite craves.  And you shall eat there before the Lord your God and rejoice, you and your household.  And you shall not neglect the Levite who is within your towns” (26-27).  Christ takes this worshipful party-spirit one step further in Luke 14:13, “But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you.”  So this was the big experiment: throw a party for the 80+ crippled, blind, poor people who come to our door every Friday to for maize flour.  This was the result…

Wearing a cupcake dress for the occasion…Our friends who helped us cook rented these big pots and cooked in our garage over a wood fire.

A handsome 27 year-old

My language teacher and sweet friend, Veronica, and me.

The guests of honor!  Everyone got a soda. 🙂

What a crowd!  100+ people were fed pilau–Tanzanian “party food”.

Ross and his friend Daudi.Whew!  That was crazy!  Where would we have been without our friends to help.  They were so supportive and helpful!

Although the weather was HOT, the party was much more chaotic than I thought it would be, and most of our guests left within 45 mins of their arrival, it was a learning experience.  Sometimes I idealize “the poor” and expect them to be “nice”, but sometimes some of them can be downright demanding!  I was reminded that Christ commands us to “give to anyone who asks” (even if they don’t say please!).  All in all, the greatest blessing of the day was seeing Ross turn 27 and getting to celebrate him as well as receiving so much support in our crazy endeavors from our Tanzanian friends.  Where would we be in adjusting to life here in Tanzania without people like Veronica, Mariam, Toulu, and others?  If I was truly Christlike, maybe I wouldn’t have written a post on this party and instead kept it a secret, but I guess I posted it because I wanted friends and family to get a share in on our big “experiment” with all it’s joys and warts.  And in the end, we our readers to know that acts of giving here are fraught with complexity, and we don’t even know if this was a good thing to do.  If it was, then we we should say that we are “just servants who have done what we were asked.”  And no praise should be given for that.  Praise the God of the party instead!