Not a Ring Nor a Watch

Author: Michael Babienco

January 2023

“So . . . if you didn’t get a ring or a watch, what would you want?”

I was in a conundrum. There was this amazing girl named Caitlyn that I loved and wanted to marry. For various reasons, proposing with a ring was out of the question, and she did not want me to propose with a watch. I was not sure what other ideas I could envision. So, I just went ahead and asked her what she wanted instead.

After a pause, Caitlyn responded, “Umm . . . I don’t know…a goat, I guess!” A mental image of a goat being happily led on a leash all over campus filled her mind, and it seemed like a good enough idea to suggest as a joke. We both laughed at the very thought and how absurd it was.

Little did she know, however, that I was paying very close attention to her request.

Several months later, in front of the Tennessee River and the local art museum, I proposed with a commissioned piece of art: a billy goat in a full tuxedo, complete with a top hat and monocle. Crazy as the proposal was, I was just excited that she said yes.

Asking the right questions and paying attention to the answers, strange as they may initially seem, is also critically important in the mission field. Our methods of outreach and evangelism will not be effective and reach the Japanese people’s hearts if we do not ask questions and learn from the replies. As we prepare to launch and learn more about the Japanese worldview, please pray that we will meet the right people, ask the right questions, and, most importantly, learn the facts needed to help us in reaching the hearts of the Japanese for Christ.