So the title is pronounced with a click. To say the “Q,” you click your tongue.
If you’re wondering what it means, it’s a traditional Xhosa meal. It’s probably the grossest thing I’ve ever seen…

Now, we’re going back in time to set up the story.

Our friend, Peter (his real name is Monwabisi), has been wanting us to come over for some time to try this food. On Friday, we were planning on dropping some stuff by his house that he needed and also to deliver some medicine to his mother and he called to tell us to be there by 2 o’clock. You might remember Peter from People are empty fields, too. We were a little late, because I had to wait on the car while some of the team were surfing and it ended up being just Johnathan and me.

We arrived at his house, dropped off the things and I wasn’t planning on staying too long, but he told us to sit down because he had prepared some Umphokoqo. So we sat down in his living room and he told us that his friend would be stopping by soon.
He brought out 3 bowls which looked to be filled with a rice based porridge; kind of a chunky cream of wheat. I thought to myself, “I can do this, it doesn’t look too bad.” (I have a very sensitive, picky stomach with a quick gag reflex to foods). As I was reaching for the spoon, Johnathan, who has a very strong stomach, innocently asked, “How do you eat it?” Peter said, “Like this!” and then reached for a pitcher of liquid on the table. When he poured it on the porridge stuff, if splattered all in the bowl and on my arm, and then I was pretty sure I knew what it was. But just to reaffirm my suspicion, Johnathan asked what it was to which Peter answered “Sour Milk.”

I started to get hot and nauseous. I didn’t know how I was going to pull this off. Peter left the room for a second and while I was staring at my sour, chunky milk porridge I could see Johnathan trying it. I asked how it was and he didn’t answer. So I looked up to find a horrified look on Johnathan’s face. I didn’t like that at all. This guy can and will eat almost anything. I dipped my finger into the milk and tried it. It tasted like sour cream, only to a more intense degree. I knew because of the texture, I would not be able to successfully (there’s a bunch of double consonants in that word) eat this. I started feeling so sick, so I told his mother that I wasn’t feeling well and maybe we could give my bowl to Peter’s friend when he got there. She thought it was a good idea, so I was off the hook.
Peter’s friend got there shortly after.
We quickly found out his agenda…
He had just acquired himself a share in an exciting business called AMWAY!
He wanted to tell us all about it. Luckily, Johnathan’s parents used to be in Amway, so we got off the hook pretty quickly.

Naturally, the Amway presentation- as all Amway presentations do- turned into a bible study.

You see, Peter’s friend was worried about Peter’s spiritual life. So he was telling us about how Peter has fallen away, so he was trying to get Peter to repent. Well, Peter told us why he’d stopped coming to church: he felt too bad because of the things he had done and he felt like he wasn’t good enough. He also thought people would look down on him because he’s unemployed and can’t dress nice; which is sad because they do that a lot here- more so than in the States.
We opened up our bibles and showed him all the scriptures and we could tell he was listening and really thinking about things. He decided to start changing, so his friend told him to just accept Jesus into his heart and asked us if we would lead Peter in a Sinner’s Prayer. So we just prayed for Peter (we don’t know the “Sinner’s Prayer) and prayed that he would give his life to God. After his friend left, we mentioned baptism a little, but we had to be going. We told him to read and to pray and we’d see him soon.
I’m excited for him, because I can’t always tell if we’re making an impact on people. He made a comment about how I was the only person who understands where he comes from and his situation. He brought up things that had happened way back in August; things that I had forgotten about, but they meant so much to him.
I’m really glad he’s thinking.
So pray for Peter.

And leave comments, I don’t even know if anybody reads these!

Love you guys.


29 thoughts on “Umphokoqo…

  1. Hey brother. First of all give my love to your team and tell Johnathan and Carolyne I will write back as soon as things get calm here. Secondly, I love what you’re doing in South Africa it sounds awesome. Keep up the work and I’ll pray for Peter. Love ya brother.

  2. Logan, glad you got out of eating that food. I remember a similar situation in Slovakia, Care and I managed to eat enough to get by. I am pretty sure Terrell asked for seconds!I am proud of you and love hearing about your work.

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  5. c'mon was it that bad…to tell the truth that is the most wonderful meal ever and people especial Xhosa people like it very much…SIM

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