Saturday, July 17, 2010
Hiking It Out
We sit on in the dusty ground with fifty curious Tanala villagers surrounding us. Continuing our assessment we ask, “What do you eat?” “Vazaha,” they chuckle. Vazaha means foreigners! Heather and I glance at each other and then at our friend Mirana, who looks at us and says, “They said they like to eat cassava.” Woohoo! We are NOT on the menu tonight! :P
Thank you so much for your prayers. On our last overnight hike out we were able to see that God had prepared the way before us, our message was well received, many who still need to know the Truth, and hiked crazy, yet beautiful, trails!
The leader of one of the villages we went to scoffed, “We sacrifice, but the ancestors have never given me anything!” Quickly yelled at for his impertinence, he backtracked, but that statement of doubt in the ancestors’ power was huge. They also let us pitch our tents on the place where they burn the zebu for sacrifices. Please continue to pray that the Lord would go before us to prepare the way!
Our Malagasy friend Rivo, came with us and taught the first lesson of a twelve-part series in the village of Ambodivoahangy. After hearing about who God is, creation, and God’s Word, the villagers reminded me of the Bereans in Acts with all the questions they had. It was wonderful! At the end without an “alter call” or anything, two men exclaimed, “We are convinced that this is true!”
Please pray for continued language learning for Heather and me. The dialect here is very similar to the one that we studied, but we still need to improve!
We have been going on some intense hikes as of late. Our last one was 60km round trip up and down the mountains. In hiking Colorado I used to groan at the countless switchbacks on the trail thinking, “Surely this would go so much faster if we just went straight up the mountain!” Well, I know now that the Colorado trail-makers were brilliant! Ha ha ha. God has been so faithful to give us the strength that we need, but please continue to pray for strength and endurance! Sometimes I have to chuckle when we are struggling up the longest uphill stretch ever, and a man carrying a billion pounds of bananas on his shoulders or a woman nursing her baby while hiking passes us by. These people are amazing.
The LORD will be awesome to them, for He will reduce to nothing all the gods of this earth; people shall worship Him, each one from His place, indeed all the shores of the nations.” Zephaniah 2:11
You all are such a blessing to me and I love you dearly,
P.S. Here’s a project for all you homeschoolers (and those of you who wish you were). Since the Malagasy hike barefoot, there are times that the trails we hike on are only four inches wide, with tangled vines sometimes obstructing our view beneath us. To feel what it’s like, measure out four inches, and try to walk up and down a hill without stepping outside the zone. Then try without looking at your feet. Did you get wobbly? I did!