Wednesday, November 30, 2011
I thought I would tell you a little more about my friend who taught me how to make this meal of greens and saksak.
She was one of the first people I met when we came to the village and my missionary friend told me that she was just a young teenager when they first moved in. Now she is a grown woman with a family of her own. She is a strong believer who is raising her 3 kids in light of her relationship with Christ. She loves them, teaches them his Word, and is physically affectionate with them (sadly most children here suffer from abuse and neglect.) She is also, a great example to the other ladies in the village. I sat in a ladies Bible Study meeting and listened as she spoke the truth of God's word into the life of other women. And I was very impressed.
I just think about how different her life would have been had these four missionaries had not come to this village. I think about how different the lives of her kids would have been as well.
You see missionaries get bashed a lot for "changing the culture" of tribal people. But the truth is, the missionaries really try not to change anything themselves. They let God's word and the work of the Holy Spirit do the changing. And I bet these children are glad they did.
Now, they are not being raised in fear. You see before the people came to know the truth of God's word, they lived in fear of the spirits and the world around them. Most media sources like to portray tribal groups as living in harmony with their environment, but the reality is they are controlled by and live in fear of evil spirits in it. This fear controls what they eat, where they sleep, where they walk, the way they talk, and how they raise their families. For example, They won't eat certain foods (even if it means their children starve) for fear it will anger a spirit and then bring sickness and even death onto the family.
But that is no longer the case for this family. They have been set free by the Truth. They are free to live their lives with joy and hope, and most of all love.