Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Perils of a Name like Jean

There are certain positions on the Africa Mercy that invite invitations to special events and I happen to occupy one of them as the HealthCare Manager. So I can't say I was surprised when someone handed me an invitation to an upcoming service in June. I WAS surprised, however, to read why I had been invited. Turns out the inviting church was having a Father's day celebration and I had been offered the award of "Honored Father." I confess this is not an award I would have ever considered myself eligible for nor even aspired to, but when one is in a country that neighbors a French-speaking country, it only makes sense that they might think my name, Jean, is the French version of John. The feminine version of my name would be spelled Jeanne in French.

I turned down the invitation; I don't think it would have been proper to show up on Father's Day to collect my special award. Besides, what they really want is my money and I'm not very keen on these blatant requests for my attendance simply so I will give them funds for whatever their current project is. I was so surprised by the "Honored Father" bit that I forgot to read that part before I returned it to the person who delivered it! Guess I'll never know.

3 comments:

tyronebcookin said...

yeah, I would have chucked it just on the wanting money bit...

I remember going to church in ***** (our next outreach country) only having people being very dissapointed in me not dancing down the aisle throwing money in the 'offering' and then wanting ALL my contact information to be friends with me after the service.

Couples of times being in church like that burnt me out. (and people showing up at the ship claiming to be my friend trying to get on the ship)...

By I guess I should stop before I am accused of complaining or not being culturally sensitive.

Jean said...

Like you, Tyrone, I put most of these requests into the round file, but they provide some entertainment, too!

And how about the people you want you to get them to the ship for treatment of their (insert complaint here)? I'm often reminded that if I were desperate, there's no telling what I would do, so I can't fault them for trying, but it doesn't mean I don't get annoyed at times.

tyronebcookin said...

AMEN!