Cramming for My Test
As always, time is ticking right along, and with a dental clinic in April and a work team in May, it surprised me to realize that June is just around the corner. During the beginning of that month, our consultant will be coming to town to give our team language tests. Although we have been studying diligently every day, sometimes it’s hard to see progress. Please pray for our team as we work on fluency in Nahuatl. It’s a long, hard, and sometimes daunting task and we want to do it in the strength of the Lord and not just by our own desperate efforts.
Walking the Dead
In the last few weeks, several of the families in the village have been taking part in a ceremony in which they help “walk” their dead loved ones to the next life. With the help of a witchdoctor, they feed the spirit of the deceased with tortillas, make a pile of any belongings they might need, and saddle and kill a cow who will take them to the afterlife. If the spirit is not sent on, he or she can make other family members ill, in a desire to be accompanied in the world of the dead. Amidst all this tribal superstition are traces of Catholicism. The spirit will go to be “with God,” and the family spends time praying and lighting candles. As far as what God wants, who he is, and what it is like where he lives, however, no one knows. Join with us in prayer that the Nahuatl will soon be able to hear and understand the truth and be freed from the fears that enslave them. For we know that where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
Even Your Underwear Could Burn
Yesterday a woman from a nearby village came to visit. She had grey hair, wrinkly skin, and lots of missing teeth. She was much bolder and more talkative than most of the women around here and began to talk about the rumor that God wants the people to change the kinds of clothes they wear. She said people are saying that if you don’t wear a certain cloth, then God would punish you. Some of the ladies have changed what kinds of skirts they wore, but were told that wasn’t enough. Even your underwear could burn if you didn’t make a complete change. She then looked slightly embarrassed and we both started laughing. When she asked what I thought, I told her it was good to look at what else those people were saying. They said the world was going to end on New Year’s day and here we all are. They said animals were going to eat people that didn’t wear the right clothes and that hasn’t happened. One village has changed to the “right” cloth and one hasn’t; there is no rain in either one and no more sickness in one than another. “I guess it’s all puras mentiras,” she commented. Pure lies, right? Right.
Later she asked me the name of my land. When I said it’s called the United States, she wanted to know what was happening there. You see, the same person circulating the rumors about God’s displeasure with the people’s clothes offered as proof the fact that burning rain was now falling on the citizens of the US, punishing them for their failures. I assured her this wasn’t happening and told her my sister had just planted a garden and regular rain was falling on it. “Puras mentiras,” she said again. Pure lies. Lies designed to produce fear, worry, and bondage. Lies that can only be put to rest by the truth that the Holy Spirit reveals. Please pray that God will be working in the lives of the Nahuatl, preparing their hearts to hear his truth.