One Sunday afternoon I was walking with some teenage boys. We were returning from the Sabbath services at Jehovah Jireh. A church service done entirely in English so that the youth in the community can practice their language skills. As we walked, I decided to help them with their conversational English. Of course, I began with my old American standby.

“What do you guys want to be when you grow up.” They grinned and grinned and grinned. The joy at being able to practice their English with an American was their ultimate highlight of the day.

“I want to work on computahs.”

“I want to be a tee chair”

Then one young guy said, “I want to be applesauce.”

“Applesauce?…Applesauce?” I asked.

Johnson, one of my best student translators, spoke louder on behalf of his best friend as if I were deaf, just like we do to the Mexicans and foreigners and any others who have English as a second language in America.

“Apple sauce--ah-polllll--sauce.”

“Applesauce???”…I still didn't understand.

Leaning in my face, Johnson spoke even louder.

“Ahhhhhhhh-pooooooooooo-sauce--like Joh and Mattew in de Biboh.” He spoke loudly to make sure I understood.

“John and Matthew? Matthew and John…you want to be an apostle! You want to grow up to be an apostle?” My guts wanted to explode with laughter, my eyeballs began to involuntarily water with merriment. I twisted my tongue every way I could. I folded my lips inside my mouth, then pushed them out into a kissiepoo-pucker. “Apostle, not apple sauce. Apple sauce is like a baby food that we feed babies from the fruit. We mash an aaaaaaaaaaaah,” I lost it. I started laughing and couldn't get control.

In all of my 50 something years of living, no one has ever told me that they wanted to grow up to be an apostle. I nicknamed my friend from then on Applesauce. Who is Applesauce? My dear, dear friend Andronic. And from that day on, he has tried desperately to improve his English. And from that day on, I have tried desperately to improve my hearing.

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