Everything about life here in Amdu is a learning experience. We learn something new (or most often many things) every day. Sometimes it feels like we can’t fit much more new information into our brains! We feel in over our heads and have to constantly depend on the Lord for strength and wisdom. That’s a good place to be. But we would appreciate your prayers for us as we live among the Amdu people and seek to learn all that we can each day about their language and culture.
As we shared in our last post (go here to read it – https://blogs.ethnos360.org/bart-allen/2015/06/17/our-school-garden/), in order to better learn more about everything surrounding the gardening process that is a huge part of everyday life for our Amdu friends, we started a “school garden.” After using machetes to clean away the underbrush, we cut down most of the larger trees. We let it dry for about 2 weeks and then went back to pull up all the little weeds and roots and make piles of all the dried brush. Then it was time to burn! What boy doesn’t love a nice big bonfire? Our boys had a good time helping with this part!
After cleaning and burning a big section, we planted things like sweet potato shoots, pumpkin/squash seeds, sugar cane and corn seeds. We also tried some white potatoes and watermelon – both things that they don’t have here. For the most part, planting in Amdu means shoving something into a hole in the ground and leaving it. Of all the hardships they have in life here, the Lord has provided that it is not hard for them to grow food. It’s a lot of work, but then things grow easily! Over and over we have seen people put a stick of something in the ground and before long it is growing!! Amazing.
Each time we go to the garden we take an Amdu friend or two with us so we can learn how they do things. In addition to learning more about Amdu gardening, we learn other things too – like how they want to keep their kids close to them in the garden so evil things don’t get them or how they are afraid of witchcraft even though they don’t talk much about it.
Please pray that our relationships with people would continue to grow and that we would understand how they think! The whole goal is to be able to share God’s Truth with them in a way that they will understand.