September 16, 2007

Big Sarge, the story man

One of the the most influential people I met during my trip to Panama was Big Sarge. He was one of our translators, a native to Panama, and as his name suggests, a former Sargent in the Panamanian military.

On the first morning of our trip, Big Sarge came up to our breakfast table and told us a story about some of the more 'traditional' Panamanian tribes. He told us how the culture of the female tribe members was such that they did not wear 'anything up here' (as he motioned over his chest). One of my favorite quotes of the entire trip came from this man, and it goes a little something like this, "when the ladies go a-walkin', their breast go a-knockin'... if you are hot (because it is ALWAYS hot in Panama), they will fan you!" And then he did a little shimmy dance, and walked away.

Oh yes, yes he did.

Big Sarge had a lot of funny stories and insights into Panamanian culture, but there is one thing that has stuck with me above and beyond his impressions of tribal women. It is his new name. Before 'Sarge' was Sarge, I do not know the name he went by. But he told us that he found his faith in the Lord while he served in the military as a Sargent. It was at that point that Jack - the director of Latin American Missions, gave him his new name: Big Sarge. He said he liked it and wanted to be called only by that name from then on, because it reminded him of his new life. He had become a new creation and no longer wanted to be affiliated with his old life, only the life he knew as a follower of Christ.

The nations will see your righteousness, and all kings your glory; you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will bestow. Isaiah 62:2


At 12:25 PM, Blogger Mike J. said...

Big Sarge is an awesome man of God. I got the opporutinity to meet him in 2001 during a trip to Nicaragua. Sounds like he left a great impression on you.

At 10:03 PM, Blogger holly said...

I know you hate memes, but:

You asked for it, what with writing things like this...


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