Sunday, October 25, 2015

There is Power in the Blood

It’s not uncommon for folks to knock on our door at all hours of the day. Sometimes it’s people we know. Sometimes not. Sometimes it’s a friend who came to visit. Sometimes it’s a stranger asking for money to help build a shrine to a saint.

Recently, we opened the door to our friend Felicity. She had come to visit with 3 of her 4 sons. (They like to come play with our children.)  I put on some hot water for coffee and set out a dish of freshly baked cookies. (Yep, just call me Betty Crocker!) Then, I sat down to visit with Felicity.

Her husband is out of town, working in Cancun. The normal pleasantries contained questions about his work, the family’s health, etc. All was well. At least until I asked about her mother.
That’s when the conversation got difficult to follow. You see, part of the ZK culture (possibly Chiapas indigenous culture) is lots of circling, or saying the same thing multiple times, but the subject isn’t always mentioned by name. And since the 3rd person subject pronoun is optional, it’s often excluded. And somewhere along the way Felicity switched from talking about her mom, to talking about her second son.

I was confused. But I knew that there was something that needed further investigation. I understood something about throwing a knife, fainting, leaving the house without a shirt. (I still thought we were talking about her mom!)

I was thankful when Clay came home and I suggested that she tell him the story, from the beginning. This time I understood. At least as much as could be expected.

Felicity’s son, Tony, had been suffering from fainting spells where he would “lose his mind.” He wouldn’t have any recollection of what had happened, but during that time he did things, like leaving the house without a shirt or shoes, or throwing a knife at his older brother. (He later said the voices told him to do it.) These incidences occurred primarily when he was at his grandma’s.

Felicity’s mom was convinced that Tony needed to be taken to a curandero, or healer. (Witchcraft is often a part of their healing techniques.) It was going to cost about $3,000 pesos or about $240 American dollars, which is at least a month’s salary.  Felicity didn’t agree with her mom, so she came to us.

Our response was to pray for Tony. We really believe there was a spiritual battle occurring and we prayed boldly for Satan to flee. Then we talked to Felicity and her boys about the promise, “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them (the spirits); because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4) We told Felicity that if she sees this happen again, to pray!

A week later Felicity and the boys came back to visit us. Felicity was quick to share with us that Tony hasn’t had another incident. Her mom wants to know, “What did they give to Tony?” because she sees the difference too. Felicity’s response to her mom, giving all glory to God, was simply, “They prayed to God. And, they taught me to pray too.” 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

God's Beauty

I live in a beautiful place. No doubt.
And I love it!

A touch of fall

beautiful caterpillar

Red-eyed Tree Frog

"Ocho" or "Eight" Butterfly

And then there's the tarantula!

Ugly Rooster

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Going "Home"

The thought of returning back to my passport country is both exciting and a little terrifying.

Exciting of course, because we'll see our loved ones! Most of them we haven't seen outside of Skype for four years! And the thought of all the foods--donuts that are actually hot and fresh for breakfast, not at 2pm! Ham and turkey for Thanksgiving! American milk! Olive Garden and Red Lobster!

There will be time for walks on the dike, and camping trips, and bike rides.

And we'll blend in to the crowd! No one will stare at us!

But then there's the scary part...

It's been four years! What kind of cultural faux pas will we commit?  We've heard all kinds of funny stories of things that missionary kids do...or missionaries. At least least they make for funny stories once the embarrassment wears off.

I think about what it'll be like for my kids. When you've spent half of your life outside your passport country, or more, there will be things that you just don't understand! Making new friends. Flushing the toilet paper. You can drink tap water?!?  Speaking only English with new friends.  Wearing the right clothes. Drinking from a drinking fountain.Using the right words! (I realize Clay and I have been at least 80% responsible for the English that my children speak. I am thankful that I began my adult life with a broad vocabulary. I fear that I sound more like a 2nd grader these days...three languages can do that.) And then there's slang!

And then there's me.

What if I can't make friends easily? What if I don't wear the right clothes? Or say the right things?
Will I fit in?  What about that "cereal aisle" moment? (That moment when I go into the grocery store for a box of cereal...or tea...and an hour later I come out, my face covered in tears because there were too many options and I just couldn't choose! It's real folks. For me it literally was the box of tea.)  Who will be there for me? Or when I can't remember the word for elevator and my mind has a glitch and I call it a helicopter? (Yep, that was me too. Remember, mom?)

 I know that anyone reading this will tell me that I'm just being ridiculous. (Because if you're actually taking the time to read this you probably already like me! ha ha) But just understand that in the midst of rejoicing for our quickly approaching Stateside time, there is mixed deep inside an insecurity.

And then there's the issue of the people that we know and love in Pine Hill. The ones that we have been spending birthdays and holidays with for the last 2.5 years. The ones that still haven't accepted the gift of Eternal Life. We will be away from them for almost a year. So much can happen in a year.

So please be praying for us as we finish up this term. As I write this, there are only 43 days til our travel day. Pray that we will say our goodbyes, or our "see you laters." Pray that we transition well to our passport country. (It's hard to say "home" because for the last 3 years and 9 months, our home has been Chiapas, Mexico.) Pray that if/when we do melt down in the cereal aisle, that God will send the right person to laugh it off with us. Pray that we will learn to laugh again! (Living in a village has been stressful and our sense of humor is often at risk of being lost.)