Sitting in literacy class with four or five grandmas is an interesting way to learn about village life. For some reason the hard work that they’ve done with their syllables loosens their tongues, and by the time class is done they are usually extremely chatty. They color in their workbooks and chatter away. It is extremely fast-paced, with several commentaries going at the same time. I feel proud of myself if I can keep up with one topic before it segues with no apparent transition (to me) into the next theme.
Yesterday’s gab session included a great lament about the current state of things among the Nahuatl youth. There is no respect for their elders; they don’t listen to advice. They aren’t marrying, just fooling around and then expecting the older ones to raise the children born out of wedlock. The men aren’t providing for the women, and they are staying at home longer and longer, expecting their mothers to continue to make their food and wash their clothes.
The ladies got fairly worked up, genuinely concerned about the fate of this generation. They said that God would punish them—and already was—for not following the prescribed behavior of the “ones that came before.”
This was when Andrea, one of the new believers spoke up. She’d been fairly quiet during the conversation, but now jumped in. “Actually, there is a new teaching here now,” she said. “A teaching that is not what the ones before said, because they didn’t know. They didn’t know the truth, but now it is being taught here…about God and what he says is right…and how one man stays with one woman forever and how to live and do what is good.”
I was impressed with Andrea’s boldness, speaking up for the truth and aligning herself with it. Of course, everyone knows she is one of the ones who go to the meetings, but she is part of a culture that likes to downplay differences, not stand out. And certainly not go against the status quo, calling the ancestors’ ideas into question. But Andrea is part of another culture now. And that culture is called to be a light in darkness and speak truth into confusion and doubt. So that is what she did.
The conversation drew to a close and the ladies left the building, still chit-chatting away. As I watched them go, my heart was full of gratitude for the work God is doing here—for the guidance, sanctification, help, and wisdom he provides for his children—and that a handful of people from Las Moras are now counted in that group.