My what a day it has been. today all of the women came to cook a feast a of Pollo Blanco in the church kitchen. In itself that is a victory as I have tried and tried to get them to cook here to no avail. Francisco says they feel awkward and unworthy, but finally they agreed to make this meal for a baby dedication Sunday.
So the kitchen today was filled with seven barefoot women in long skirts. They laughed as I showed them how the stove lit from the automatic pilot and giggled from a the ice in the freezer. Then finally about ten they settled in to cook.
I, having been afflicted with a fever the last few nights was just glad I could sit down and basically do nothing. at around 12:15 , Juana Isidra the lady who lives in the yurt down below came and sat down beside me. Before she settled in she offered me a grocery sack of lovely smoked chiles and I thanked her effusively. We passed quite some time in actual silence. This is something I love about these women. They seem satisfied with one’s presence alone. Apparently they do not require the social overtures of other people groups. At around 2, though she summoned Ernesto, a 10 year old who serves as our unofficial translator.
“Sister, she wants to tell you something,” Ernesto says. I motion him on, expecting a request for onions or flour.
The old woman looks to the floor,d crosses her brown and dry bare feet an then slowly raises a wizened face, her eyes meeting mine. Through the boy she says, “You and I, we are the same.”
Okay, I think, did he get that right? But I listen. She says, “I want you understand, WE both want the same. My people are lost but we want them not to be. I wish (quiero) to tell you about what we were and who we are.”
At this point, I am starting to awaken a bit from this feverish stupor I have been in for a few days and my heart is beating hard. Everyone in the room begins to fade from importance and I only hope my young translator will not quit on me as he often does.
I offer her ice water and ask her to continue. She seems as if she might sleep with the water and I immediately regret breaking his rhythm. Before today she has never spoken once to me although I have seen her clap during worship and smile at the movies we play.
At last again she speaks thru Ernesto. “I do not understand your lengua, but I know you are good and the same same with me. ”
What follows is a long coversation thru a translator, but it is so important and profound that I am going to paraphrase it for you. she tells me that she learned from her father’s father about their God, who is called Yaih-nawai-ah. She says that other girls marry, but not her. She only tells stories, not to a husband. And that this Yaih-nawai-ah that she learned of is the creator of all things, that He created corn in abundance, that their God never dies and never ends and wants only Good for her people. She tells of old men telling stories of this god and of the Rules he set down for her people. She says that her people have strayed away and listened to other Stories and even sacrificed to “malignos” (bad spirits) but that she knows that still her God will bring them back and not allow them to perish in such poverty and constant “bad”.
I am at this point really fascinated and my mind has placed Yahweh and Yaih-nawai-ah together. But here she stops. Seemingly, just worn out ,her stories are over and honestly Ernesto is relieved . He is wanting to go play with the rest of the bunch.
I am wondering if this particular group has worshiped Yahweh all along and if that explains the receptiveness of the children to the Gospel and their noble ways, because they are really not your average kids………………I am honored that she says I am the same with her. I am excited to hear her speak again, but apparently must be patient. I think she is between 75 and 80 years old and seems stout but is quite socially withdrawn around us.
Anyhow, it went well today. There was plentiful laughter and at the same time there was much talk of the people who died in the recent accident. I know that Frank intends to address this tomorrow. In fact it will be a very short ceremony after he explains the Hope that we have. I do not believe we will ever again have trouble getting these ladies to come in and cook here, that barrier is broken, praise God.
I really am so thankful that I felt well enough to go today. I spent again much of the night focused on healing Scriptures and rebuking a fever and wonder if in fact it is just spiritual warfare causing these symptoms and relating to the activities of the past few days and tomorrow.
Well anyway, i am encouraged. Thank you for your prayers and blessings to you all,