Suni came in to tell us that dinner was ready. She entered through a door that was previously hidden behind a wall hanging.
“Wow, there’s a door there?” I said surprised.
“Sure,” Suni answered. “All of the units have them.”
“All of the units? I’ve got to see this.”
I went out the door and stood on the balcony which stretched the length of a basketball court. Below us was indeed a court, a courtyard, that is, with trees and shrubs and lots of benches. Suni’s friends waved to us from below.
“Can you smell the barbecue?” Suni asked.
I nodded. Hunger took over where curiosity had begun. I walked down the stairs, sniffing my way to the barbecue. From the courtyard I could see that my unit was actually above another one. The lower unit had windows that looked out onto the courtyard and a private patio graced with a beautiful little table. Two cute chairs adorned it like a pair of ear rings.
“Bet you didn’t know I lived right under you.” Suni said as she went into her unit. She came out with such a high stack of paper plates that she had to keep them in place with her chin.
“Nothing like having friends for neighbors,” I answered, then proceeded to follow her to the barbecue.
“I’ve got a special piece of barbecue picked out just for you, Ish. Hope you don’t mind if I call you Ish? I heard Mary calling you that.”
“Not at all. I’d prefer you call me Ish. Is Suni your nickname or your real name?”
“Suni’s my real name. My nickname is Sexy.”
At that moment Mary walked by.
“Ah, I see Sexy has shown you her apartment. Bet you didn’t know we’d have Sista Sexy living just below us.”
That answered my question. I’d been wondering what Mary would have thought if I called Suni by her nickname; Sister Sexy or was it Sista Sexy?
“Let’s get that piece of barbecue you’ve picked out just for me, Sexy.”
Suni’s face lit up to match her smiling eyes when she heard me call her by her nickname.
As we approached Suni’s friends, they raised their voices in unison, “uhhhhhh~”
“They say I have a crush on you.” Suni looked down.
“Well, do you Sexy?”
I shouldn’t have said that. It just popped out. Suni’s face reddened with embarrassment. She fixed her gaze on the barbecue she was getting for me just to keep from looking me in the eyes. Her friends were now silent. This was far beyond my comfort level so to break the silence I uttered.
“Sam tells me that you’re a wonderful group of godly women.”
“Let him tell that to our faces!”
A loud voice bellowed from a tiny lady standing behind the other girls.
That beat my feeble attempt to break the silence as we all roared in laughter. How many friends did Suni have? It looked like the entire membership of single ladies had come over to participate in the barbecue, and why not? I heard a shout from the Balcony.
“You’re a wonderful group of godly women!”
It was Pastor Sam.
“Oh, yeah!” The tiny lady shouted back.
“Yes, especially you, Asina. Salty that you are.”
Sam walked across the courtyard and now stood next to Asina.
“I can see that you’ve met Asina.”
Sam placed his hand on Asina’s shoulder and introduced his pet student.
“Her folks nicknamed her Asina for her salty remarks.”
I remembered my lessons. Asin was their word for salt.
“My speech is always with grace, seasoned with salt, that I may answer every man.”
Asina paraphrased Colossians 4:6 to suit her unique personality. She looked up at Sam, seeking approval.
“And you do answer every man. Some would call it talking back. Nonetheless you do answer, my precious Asina.”
Pastor Sam acknowledged her uniqueness as he gave her shoulder a squeeze. For that moment, Asina appeared satisfied that she’d added her spice to the occasion while getting the attention of Pastor Sam.
Suni had gotten over her embarrassment at having a crush on me. She peeked up at me like a child waiting for a gift. If it pleased her to have a crush on me, I wasn’t going to stop her.
“Thanks so much that you picked out some special barbecue just for me.” I said.
Suni, her bubbly self again, responded,
“I’m so glad you like it.”
Suni and I found a seat at one of the tables. After shoveling down just enough bites to stop the growls in my stomach, I noticed that all of the ladies had formed a line so that they could come by and meet me. I wondered where Mary had gone. As if hearing my thoughts, Mary shouted to me from across the courtyard,
“Oh, here I am Ish.”
Then she continued her animated discussion with some of the ladies she’d been sitting with. I wondered why a line had only been formed to meet me, then I noticed that each of the single ladies was carrying my book. Our barbecue had become an autograph signing.
“Your book is so poetic.” One said.
“I couldn’t stand it! I was so excited reading it that you made me late for school.”
While yet another gushed,
“I could just die dreaming. It’s so romantic!”
This was beyond my expectations. Frankly, I didn’t have any expectations. It was a theology book! I couldn’t understand how young single ladies could be so taken with a text book.
Suni came back with her food and sat down next to me.
“You’re a star.” She said.
“I’m not a star. This is…” I halted mid-sentence. I was about to say ridiculous but realizing their sincerity, I stopped myself. “Now what’s the word I’m looking for? Humbling. I’m very much humbled that there are so many of you who have gotten something from my book. I’m kind of a book worm. I’m not used to so much…”
“Adoration?” One of the single ladies completed my sentence. She looked like one of the women in a White Castle liquor advertisement. Actually, she made them look homely by comparison.
“W..well, I wouldn’t call it that.” I stuttered.
This silencer of mankind replied. I’d never seen anyone that beautiful up close. I mean it. I couldn’t hope to describe her here. For that matter, I didn’t really see her, I experienced her presence. Like the finest chocolate cake, baked by a king’s chef for his favorite son, so she had been created by the Creator Himself; for some lucky idiot who couldn’t possibly deserve her. Oops, did I covet her? Well, not in the technical sense since she didn’t belong to another. But I can still smell the frosting on that cake.
“Oh, don’t let Modelisa scare you. She’s tame.”
Suni took her handkerchief and wiped the sweat from my forehead.
The ladies roared with laughter. I hadn’t realized it but they’d all been waiting for Modelisa to approach and Suni’s wiping the sweat from my forehead was just part of the show. I was certain that Modelisa was a nickname but it fit, just like each piece of perfectly fitted clothing that she wore. They loved seeing the affect she had on men. She knew who she was, what she was, and she took advantage of every skill she had to make even the most confident man become a little puppy on a leash. That is, until she was born again. But for special occasions, such as this, she would entertain her friends by helping some important visitor face his own mortality; and to show him that no matter who he was, that there are some things that even he cannot comprehend or explain. Such was Modelisa.
The laughter was contagious. I found myself nervously laughing as well, and I’m sure I was even redder in the face than Suni had been earlier when the girls had teased her. So this was what getting to know Suni and her friends meant. How could I ever forget it.
A few minutes more of signing autographs and a simply dressed young lady came up and sat next to Suni and me. She had a kind face, one that no stranger would fear. She was asking questions about my book and did so in the most thorough fashion. Each time she got an answer she would apply it to her witnessing manual.
“I’m putting together a witnessing manual that helps single Christian ladies reach other single ladies for Christ. I’m approaching it from the method of showing them what the Bible says about chastity and helping them to realize that they fall short of the glory of God and need Jesus. It’s a lot like what you’ve laid out in your book.”
I was impressed; so easy to be with and chat with.
“I’m sorry, I’ve been rude. I’m Ish, and you’re?”
“Hope. At least that’s what my parents named me. My friends call me Modelisa.”
I was about floored.
“You didn’t mind my teasing you a few minutes ago?” She asked.
“Mind? It was a treat. You’re very talented, but what I can’t figure out is how you did it? How did you make yourself look so totally different?”
“To tell you the truth, Ish, it’s not how I did it but how I’m doing this.”
Hope took my hand and lifted it to her face pushing one of my fingers into her cheek, which I now realized was covered with some kind of stage putty.
“My father invented it. When we had problems with mountain tribes coming down and stealing wives he decided the best way to keep me safe was to make me ugly.”
“Well, you don’t look ugly now, except for the hole I just poked in your cheek.”
“Oh, this is just my plain Jane face. You should see me when I put on my ugly face.”
“To tell you the truth, Modelisa, I’d rather not.” She took my kidding in stride.
“But what about your other face and, well, everything else about you.”
“Ish, my other face is hidden beneath this and it looks just the way you saw it earlier and what you refer to as, ‘everything else,'” Modelisa winked, “well that’s just good genes.”
“I find it hard to believe that a pair of jeans could do all that.” I couldn’t resist the temptation of such an obvious pun even at the price of appearing a bit corny.
“Well Ish, I hope you’ll excuse me. This goo will ruin my complexion if I leave it on too long. I’ll see you in a bit.”
“Ok, see you later.”
Sam was sitting close by so I couldn’t help commenting to him.
“Is Modelisa the greatest actress in the world, or what?! How will her future husband ever know when she’s telling the truth or when she’s acting? She’s incredible.”
“You will know them by their fruit,” Sam answered. “Modelisa is responsible for half of the women you see here at this gathering coming to a saving knowledge of the Lord!”
I looked out at all the single ladies there. All of those from his church were there; over 700.
I spoke, my throat now tightening,
“You’re telling me that Modelisa has brought over 300 women to Christ?”
“More.” Sam responded. “There are other churches here besides Tigas View.”
My tears gushed from my eyes. I could barely get out the words,
Suni took me to her apartment where I sat down for a few minutes and wept privately. Mary walked in and said,
“What’s the problem, Ish?”
I tried to tell her but the tears started gushing again. Sam was standing outside the door so Mary went out to ask him.
“It’s about Hope; how she’s brought hundreds to a saving knowledge of our Savior.”
I could hear Mary whisper to Sam, “Oh, Ish is always crying about some spiritual revelation he’s had. He’ll get over it.”
Mary didn’t realize I could hear her. It cut me deep. Not because it was disrespectful to me but because of the way my wife had reacted to Hope; the greatest evangelist I’d ever met. I was humbled at how the Lord had used Hope for such a great purpose and was ashamed at my own shallowness. How could it be that Mary had no awe for the great power that God had given that woman?
Sam walked over, “Now that you’ve gotten to know the ladies, don’t you think it’s time for a Bible study? The girls have been waiting for this moment.”
“Sure,” I said, “But I’ll need some water first.”
Suni had already poured it.
“Here you go, Ish,” Suni consoled me, “My father used to cry when he preached. He said it was because he knew that he wasn’t worthy. But you know, Ish, it was that humility in him that convinced me all the more that he was a man of God. If we ever think that we’re great or that we’re the reason someone was saved then whatever power the Lord has given us to reach people will disappear. We won’t be worshipping God anymore. We’ll be worshipping our own ministry. Modelisa knows that and she needs our prayers. Think how difficult it must be to remain humble if you’re Modelisa? Not only is she extremely beautiful but she has a gift of reaching women for the Lord. There’s hardly a day that goes by that someone has not come to the Lord through her personal ministry. Anyway, my dad would go through two liters of water in one sermon, that’s how much he cried. Don’t ever be ashamed of your tears. They’re the mark of a contrite heart.”
Suni’s caring words warmed me.
“C’mon Ish. The other girls are waiting.”
Suni took my hand and led me out to the center of the courtyard.
 Colossians 4:6
Let your speech [be] alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
 Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. It is a Christians duty to know what the Bible teaches concerning fornication. We know it’s wrong, of course, but we’re supposed to know where fornication is defined in the Bible. All cultures are not the same and our culture’s definition of fornication is not always the same as the Bible’s definition of fornication. The definition of the different types of fornication as spelled out in the Bible is what we are to teach and accept. Not only are we are to use biblical definitions of fornication to call sinners attention to their own sins but the primary duty of a minister to those already saved is spelled out in the following verse:
Acts 15:20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and [from] fornication, and [from] things strangled, and [from] blood.
Remember that Jesus taught the Ten Commandments. The above verse is therefore emphasizing a particular area where Christians must be especially mindful since they are no longer overseen by a priest who gives daily sacrifices for them at the temple. This verse clarifies that even though they are not required to give those daily sacrifices that there are still certain holy rules of behavior that they must follow and that their behavior as well as their avoidance of certain things reflects their reverence for God. Tattoos are a modern day example of fornication against God.
Leviticus 19:28 Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I [am] the LORD.
 Mat 7:16-20
Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither [can] a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
 1Timothy 2:4-6
Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For [there is] one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
 Psalms 34:18
The LORD [is] nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
The sacrifices of God [are] a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name [is] Holy; I dwell in the high and holy [place], with him also [that is] of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
For all those [things] hath mine hand made, and all those [things] have been, saith the LORD: but to this [man] will I look, [even] to [him that is] poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.
Note: This excerpt is from The Prince of Sumba, Husband to Many Wives. Copyright 2009 Don Milton All Rights Reserved. All Copyright Laws Apply