Attaching a recent ‘Good News Blog’ article about our recent adventures:
posted March 1st 2020
The miracle smart phone!
By Peter and Susan Kingston (normally in Fiji)
For a long, long time, Susan and I resisted the omnipresent, surrounding pressure to buy a smart phone. Even though we saw everyone else using one, we didn’t want to end up walking along the street texting instead of looking where we’re going, or glued to our phones at times when we would normally converse. Besides, we reasoned, the screen area is so small that it would require searching for glasses each time we would like to use it!
I don’t know if we ever put our thoughts into words, but our inward prayer was to the effect of, “Lord, we don’t like smart phones and we certainly don’t want to go out and buy one, but if You think it’s a good idea for us to have one, then You arrange it! Amen.”
Some months later, our Fiji visa ran out and so we made a faith trip to the Bahamas to get out our remaining stock of CDs and DVDs that a friend had kept in storage for us for several years. We had intended to come back the following year to distribute them, but life has many twists and turns, and due to some serious medical crises, it actually turned into five years that we had all these boxes in storage.
When we took stock of the actual number of products we had, we were shocked to see that the total was close to 600—much more than we had previously thought! The person storing them in their house was now planning to move and suggested we throw them away, but we couldn’t bring ourselves to do that, and so prayed that we could make a final road trip to the Caribbean to get them all out.
As we prayerfully looked at the map, the Lord led us to take 300 CDs and DVDs to the Bahamas, where we’ve made two previous visits and have done a lot of drug awareness programs in schools. The remaining CDs and DVDs we would then try to distribute in the Bay Islands, off the coast of Honduras, and also in Belize, the only English-speaking country in Central America.
The morning after we arrived in the Bahamas, we began hitchhiking into the capital to save the expensive taxi fare. Within one minute a car stopped, and pretty soon we started talking about our mission. The driver and his friend were fascinated that not only were we missionaries that knew the Bahamas very well from our previous trips, but that we were stepping out totally by faith and expecting to find hotels that would donate free accommodations. They asked us if we had a smart phone to contact the various hotels. We said, “No, we’re basically just walking around, going from one to another to another.” They consulted among themselves and said, “OK, we want to get you a phone, as that could really help you!” They abruptly changed directions and took us to a mall, where they proceeded to buy us a smart phone and to charge it with enough gigabytes to last our whole stay. Imagine: they spent US$150 on total strangers in order to help our missionary work. God bless them!
Thanks to these kind souls, we quickly found out that having a smart phone is actually a real help, especially with GPS. Now, it’s so much easier to find the location of places we’re going to. And if we need to find a restaurant to provision lunch, our GPS gives us a whole selection of places to go. Plus, we’re able to instantly connect to Wi-Fi networks without having to set up our laptop.
To finish off the Bahamas part of our account, we’re happy to say that after a few days of hotels providing one or two nights, we were given a donated apartment for one month, right in the centre of town, which was ideal for reaching the whole capital of Nassau. And although it wasn’t very easy, we succeeded in getting out all of the 300 CD cards and DVDs.
It was a similar story in Honduras and Belize, with the other products, except that these places are not so affluent as the Bahamas, and even though we dropped the asking price from $20 to $10, it was still a big request for some businesses.
We found that one major obstacle in all the countries we visited was that, compared with our previous trips to the region five years back, a lot of people told us that now they no longer used CDs or that they no longer had a DVD player. Instead, they just download everything they need from YouTube, Netflix, Spotify, and other sources, and consequently, they now view CDs or DVDs as antiquated.
We discovered a good solution to this was to find a kindergarten that still has a DVD player and then suggest that people donate a DVD or CD to them, which we can either take to the institution or they can deliver it personally. This worked quite well, and so in the end, we managed to get out every last CD and DVD!
At the end of it all, we had to face the facts that the world has changed and the DVD era has almost come to an end. However, the Lord is not limited, and instead, He has other new and exciting ways of supplying our needs. In addition, we need to be up to speed with ever-changing technology, so as to better relate to the people we’re trying to reach.—And that includes having a smart phone!