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On the Sunday before last we trotted down to the cafeteria like usual and were about to get in line for lunch when one of the main pastors who speaks no English grabbed my arm and indicated that I should follow him. Eric and I were with a friend but the pastor wanted just the two of us. We followed him through a back cafeteria and into an even further dinning area that was much smaller and fancy, with Christian tapestries on the walls and stuff.

There was one table, set with embroidered tablecloth and napkins, delicately printed china sets, and a crazy display of some interesting gourmet Korean foods. Four men were seated at the table and a woman stood off to the side, ready to serve whatever was needed. The pastor we had followed told two of the guys sitting to get up and leave. The server cleared away their unfinished dishes and we were encouraged to take the two now empty chairs. The guy who brought us there disappeared, and Eric and I were left alone with the two remaining men still at the table: The head pastor of the church and his assistant. The head pastor made sure that we understood that the food we were now enjoying was high class stuff, and within 2 or 3 minutes of us sitting down, he apologized and excused himself. The assistant guy stayed, quietly staring at his plate and not moving. I assumed he couldn’t speak English so we tried to ignore him while we ate fancy spicy crab and colourful rice and drank from antique teacups.

Once we finished Eric and I got up to leave, and immediately the assistant guy also stood, and indicated that we follow him. He brought us upstairs to the church cafe and asked if we liked coffee. (So, he could speak English this entire time!) He ordered and bought me an iced latte and by the time the Batista brought it over the assistant guy had completely disappeared. I never saw him after that, and no one ever mentioned anything about that very strange lunch ever again.