Friday, October 1, 2010
Three Funerals and a Wedding
Entering the village of Bevoahazo, it is evident that the village is in mourning. Everything comes to a halt when someone dies. The men do not work in the fields. The women do not shell coffee beans. The children do not sing or play games. Last week a mother and her newborn baby died and were buried. This week, a woman with “abdominal pain and high blood pressure.” The time of mourning lasts for three days. Family and friends sit continuously with the body, fanning it to keep the flies away. We do not teach our village study this night, but instead visit in the home of the deceased woman to mourn with her family. The next afternoon, the corpse, wrapped in cloths and placed in a wooden coffin, is taken to her tomb. That evening, over 220 people listen as Rivo taught and showed them the movie. While the deaths of the villagers were heartrending, they were definitely used by God (Gen 50:20). You better believe that place got quiet when, in the film, Jesus raised up a body, wrapped in cloths, from the dead. They gasped when the snake came to tempt Jesus, were bewildered at the mountains of sand with no trees, and horrified when our Lord was beaten and nailed to a cross. Relief and joy were evident at His resurrection. Praise the Lord!
“Sing to the LORD, all the earth; proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples. For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised; He is also to be feared above all gods… let them say among the nations, The LORD reigns.”
I Chronicles 16:23-25, 31b
And the wedding?
MY SISTER IS GETTING MARRIED! :D I am quite delighted that God has brought Cali & Nyk together in such a beautiful way and am very excited to be able to make a quick trip back to the good ol’ USA to celebrate this day with them in November.
Praise report! We had many neat opportunities on Market Day and one young man recognized the truth! Another woman shared with us how she was in a coma for three years and, during that time, Satan tried to get her to take his hand. She said she did not, and that is why her right hand does not work right to this day. She has not yet become a follower of God, but heard the Truth and we were able to pray for her and her two-year-old son.
Prayer requests! For the new believers in Bevoahazo to be strengthened in their faith. For Heather and I: wisdom wisdom wisdom! The ability to see situations and people from GOD’S point of view. Please lift us up this week as we prepare medical lessons, study Malagasy, and spend quality time with God! As this is October (!), we are already halfway through our term. Pray that we would be faithful to serve our amazing Lord and rely on Him for everything.
I thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. You are a constant encouragement to me.
[pic above is villagers waiting as we set up the film]