Tuesday, July 16, 2013

It's a FIESTA!

It’s the end of week six here in Oaxaca, and there are only two weeks left! Thinking about going home makes me happy, yet the thought of leaving everything behind is a little disheartening. I’m learning so much about God, myself, and the world. The thought of leaving this place, during this point in time really makes me sad, but I’m just going to make sure that I make these last two weeks really count! 

So let me give you a recap of this past week. This week, Nick, our media guy came out to our village with us for the week. We really needed to find some new people to help with the translation project so we started off the week looking for some fresh new faces. There are a group of people from the US, Mexico, and Germany that are in the village filming a documentary about the village. It's kind of funny because many of the natives have been mistaking us for documentary staff. Literally every new person we encountered this week asked us how our movie is going. We’ve explained many times that we are not part of the film, but instead we are working on a separate project of translating stories from the bible into their native language. One man who also happens to be a translator for the documentary guys helped us with one of our stories. He was a really great help, but because he is working for the documentary, he is usually busy and isn’t home often. Ultimately, it has been difficult to find people that are available and helpful with the translation project so please continue praying for more open doors as far as help goes. On Wednesday, it was really cool because we were able to go and watch the live process of the story translation. Nick, our media guy, is writing a story on the whole process so I will share that with you all as soon as soon as I can. 

FIESTAAAAA TIME!!! So, we were invited to two fiestas in the village this week! The first one was for the older grandpa that asked us to leave when I shared my testimony last week. The fiesta was really… interesting. We basically hiked up the mountain to get to the house and when we got there a traditional band from the village was playing as they served us our meal. Here’s a funny story... So we were sitting down and they brought the three of us each a really large bowl of soup that had a bunch of stuff floating in it. This stuff sort of looked like scrambled eggs but with shredded chicken in it and chopped up tomatoes and onions.  Then, they gave us a huge pile of GIANT tortillas. And when I say giant I mean HUGE!  They gave us so much of this soup stuff; I didn’t think I was going to be able to finish it. It’s rude to not finish all your food, so I ripped off some pieces of my giant tortilla and I went to work on my huge amount of chunky soup. All of us were trying so hard to finish our food, and we reached a point where we were just way too full, yet there was still so much left! At that moment, I noticed our lady friend next to us picking out all the chunks from her soup, and placing them on a tortilla. Then, she placed two more tortillas on top of her mountain of food and she rolled it all up and put it in a bag. She noticed that I was staring at her so she told me that she was saving the rest for tomorrow. As it turns out, we were never expected to finish all the food they gave us. They intentionally gave us a lot so that we can take most of it home with us- it’s tradition. It was really hilarious, but we still wished that we would have known that valuable piece of information before we had stretched out bellies to the limit. Overall, going to his birthday party was a really great foot in the door. The old man was really glad we came, and he even invited us to come back to his house another day. The village fiesta food experience was totally worth it! (; Fiesta numero dos was also a very humorous evening, but you will have to ask me about that one in person!
This week we took Nick over to visit our lady friend from week one that has been a GREAT help towards our project. She listened to the story of David when he becomes king. She told us right before that she had never heard this story before, and she was really happy to hear it. During the story, Nick noticed that she was tearing up as she was listening to it. She really opened up with us this week and told confessed to us that she stopped reading the bible because a lot of what she read in the Old Testament really bothered her, and because of that, she has never read any of the New Testament. It was a great opportunity for us to talk to her and share with her similar experiences that we have had as well. One huge problem that we really noticed this week is that each time that we begin having spiritual conversations with this woman, her young children begin acting up. They start screaming, running around, and tugging on her apron, which inevitably steals their mother’s attention. They are always really well behaved during the time that we talk to her, but the second the conversation turns to God- they suddenly act out. We are now noticing that this might be spiritual warfare. Please pray against anything that may be going against this work. (Ephesians 6:12)

This week, we experienced something we never thought we would find in this village. So we thought we were just dealing with a weird mix of Catholicism, animism, and syncretism, but this week, something weird happened! We had a really good conversation with the really awesome family that taught us how to make tortillas, and chocolate, and also took us to the old man’s birthday fiesta. The wife of the family told us that they used to be Catholic, but when her husband went to California to work, he came home and told her that he was no longer Catholic because he had found a new church that really followed the teachings from the bible. She explained to us how their lives had changed since then. We were really excited because it really sounded like we had found some believers in the village! But, a few nights ago we sat down with the husband because he wanted to have a bible study with us. We were super excited to get started! We opened our bibles and this man began top direct us to different bible verses and he began “teaching” us what he believes. He started telling us some really crazy ideas that were NOT supported by scripture. His verses that he used were completely stretched and taken completely out of context. I don’t want to take too much time telling you the things he believes, but he thinks that God has another form, which is a woman, and she is our mother. He also believes that we are living in a new time where it is no longer necessary to pray “In the name of Jesus”. I looked up this religion, and this man has been taught an extremely polluted gospel. We listened to him as he explained to us what he has learned at his church, and we tried not to argue, but just to listen. We have plans to talk to him again soon. Please pray for this man and for us. We really need to share with him what the scripture says about salvation. Jesus is the only way. He is the truth, and he is the life. No one can get to the Father, except through him. (John 14:6) We do not want to argue with this man, or point out his flawed theology. We just want to let God speak truth to him and his family through us. Please pray for this whole situation.
I know I’ve already written a lot, but so much happens throughout the week, I really want you all to know all that is going on. Thank you for taking the time to read my posts and thank you for your prayers!
Also, I wanted to share a verse that I read that has been really making me think about my life from a whole new perspective.  Acts 20:24- “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, unless I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me- the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” I’m realizing how many lost people are in this world. Jesus has instructed us to go and tell all the nations the gospel of salvation. Please be praying for me as I’m trying to figure out where God wants me in the next chapter in my life. I’m realizing that I have been planning out my life exactly how I want it to be without even taking into consideration what God wants me to do with my life. I don’t want to take the easy way out and ignore God’s plans for me. Here is a really awesome quote that I read, “There is a needs be to give ourselves for the life of the world. An easy, non self denying life will never be one of power. Fruit bearing involves cross bearing. There are not 2 Christs… An easy going one for easy going Christians and a suffering one for exceptional believers. There is only 1 Christ.” – Hudson Taylor

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