Saturday, March 21, 2009

Yeni illiniz mubarek...

Baby playing in the park

Getting ready for the Celebration
Old Abandon Church
Town Square

Today is Saturday, there are two posts for today because I didn’t have enough time update last night. We have already had a full day, and it is only 3pm. We got up had our usual breakfast then off on a bus ride along the city. We wanted to go to the bizarre, which we finally found via the long route.

I first want to say I LOVE IT HERE!! It is so awesome and we have had great interaction with all sorts of people. We of course drew a lot of attention. But, away from my friend Emily, I didn’t stand out as much. I began to encounter little old ladies (who, I attract to anyway) and they just assumed I was one of them. One lady was so tickled to find that I was an American that she just started to laugh and tell her friends that I looked like them, maybe French or Russian too. You maybe wondering how I know what she was saying, well the truth of it all is that I don’t, but I can understand and pick out enough words that I can get the jest. I thought this was great fun. I love the little grandmas with their sweet head covings and little worn faces. Once we left that store, she gave me a hug, and just laughed and laughed with her friends. That is how we make connections, just by being ourselves and putting ourselves in places we may have never gone before.

The next lady I ran into thought the same thing. Her and her daughter ran the store, and I was talking to them with the little I know thus far. When she asked me something I didn’t know, I told her I was speaking English. Oh that was a crack up. They hurried and told each other that they thought I was one of them. I began to look at some scarves to buy she gave me a discount, I think because I was trying so hard to use there words. Then the mama looked at me and told her daughter I was a Chr*sti*an. WHAT!! I was so excited, the lady came to me and gave me a big hug while patting me. Oh Lord, we ask for the nations!!

The craziest thing of all was at the bizarre there was a row of Chinese people selling things, just like the locals. I stopped to ask them if they were one of these people, and they answered no Chinese. But the crazy thing is they don’t speak Chinese, only the native tongue here. I pulled out some of my very limited and horribly pronounced Chinese and they didn’t respond, they just shook their heads like I don’t know.
We stopped to buy some apples from some ladies and they wouldn’t take our money, even though we insisted, they insisted harder. Then one of the men came over and asked us if would like to take his picture, OF COURSE we would, what an opportunity and besides that I loved his hat!!

After much fun and shopping we were off to my favorite place to eat. This guy speaks Russian and thanks to C~5 I know enough to say hi and thank you. We asked for the same meal we had the first time and he hooked us up. I can’t think of any place better to eat, other then this place. By far the BEST in this little town, and the city in my opinion, I don’t know what he does to that lamb, but it is finger licking good!!

We wished him Happy New Year, and that is all it takes her to be best friends. This is so much fun, Lord we do ask for the nations.

This place needs the Helper and the Comforter. Please pray just that. My heart breaks for my new friends, that don’t walk in light, only darkness. Oh, how we ask for the nations.

Yeni illiniz mubarek!!

Happy new year!!


praisinyahweh said...

Hello dear friends,

How I love the pictures. Especially the ones of people ... go figure. It makes me hungry to go do that someday ... It is hard to believe that you have been there a week now! Time has flown!

The other night I was watching this show about two men that are living in a village in the Amazon and documenting their journey for the show. It was really interesting. There was a lesson in it that really aligned with what we have learned in our Monday class. In the episode that I was watching the two men had earned the trust of the village and had been invited to experience the coming of age test. They had to go and disturb a bees nest and then let the swarm attack them. They were told that one of them would earn the right of manhood ... the one that took it the most like a man. The one that screamed more or ran away would be thought to have acted like a woman. (Me I am thinking that would be an o.k. thing ... shows great common sense to run away from a angry swarm of bees ... but that is just me!) Anyway, on the way there a young tribal teenager pointed out a snake hanging out in a tree and told them that they should kill it. They, having American values, explained that they didn't want to kill an animal that wasn't endangering them and they weren't going to eat. The native let them let it live, and they continued on to the bee hive. When they had completed the ritual there ... which they did and were happy to find out that they bees bit instead of stung ... (weird) ... they returned to the village. The teenage native went right to the chief and quickly explained the whole refusing to kill the snake thing ... mentioning nothing about the bees. As it turns out, the people there believe that the snake embodies the most evil demon there is and must be killed. All of them ... no exceptions ... To let one live is to bring the demon upon you. They believed that the demon was going to come (in the form of another snake) get their visitors, bite them, and turn them into witches. (Amazing planted path to truth there ... yes?) The once friendly village turned into a ghost town. The villagers hid in their huts refusing to come out because of the demon that was stalking the village from the forest. The leaders could "hear" the demon calling to the "white men", and had warned all. The visitors went into the forest and visited the medicine man, who told them the only way to possibly appease the demon and break the curse was to take 10 coco leaves and boil them top side up in water under the light of the moon and drink it. (Reminds me of some of the ancient legalistic laws that we have studied.) There were no guarantees, but it "might" save them. They did just what the doctor said to do. While they were drinking it, they were talking with each other and us, the viewers, about what a huge mistake they had made. That because of their unwillingness to break from their own cultural views they had caused what these people perceived as a very real and ominous threat to the village. That regardless of the truth, that if one person was to get sick, hurt, or die before the "curse" was lifted it would be perceived as their fault. I had to stop watching, so did not get to see if drinking the coco water worked, but it left me thinking about the truths it holds for us.
The relationships that we form with others are fragile when trust is being formed. We have to know their cultures and beliefs and respect them. At times we might even have to do something that does not sit well in our values, as long as it does not go against what we know to be God's Word. Something as small as killing or not killing a snake turned out to be potentially devastating to their ability to stay a part of the village. I have it DVR'ed, so I will eventually tune back in to see what happened, but it was very interesting.

Take care my friends, know that you are being lifted up.


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