This past week in Oaxaca was pretty interesting! We didn't have as much village time as usual because my partner got sick one day. She was better the next day so thank God for that! It is rainy season in Oaxaca, so i've been caught in the pouring rain twice already, but it isn't necessarily a bad thing! It has been a pretty great adventure exploring more of the downtown area where we live. The culture out here is really "rico". I've seen some really cool parade type celebrations called a "calenda". It involves people playing music, dancing girls with long skirts and baskets on their heads full of flowers, and giant dancing paper dolls. They usually go on at night, and there's fireworks too! I really love it out here, and can't wait to upload pictures as soon as I can!
Also, this week I had the chance to check out some really awesome markets including a black pottery market in one of the villages!
Village update: So on Monday we went out to the village and we set off to look for the 17 year old girl that is from California, but is living with her grandma for the summer in our village. After going to a few wrong homes, we finally found our friend. Let's call her L.A. So when we to to L.A'S house, she invited us in. We had a good time getting to know her and also getting to know her grandma and cousin's that also live there. Her grandma was nice enough to feed us some delicious chile rellenos, and ague the tunas. We are really glad to have met L.A because otherwise, we wouldn't have been so welcomed into a house in the village. The next day, my partner was sick, but I still had the chance to go to the children's home! That was a lot of fun, and I even had a really awesome conversation with a little 9 year old boy about the gospel. He told me that his dad was shot and killed last year. I was able to tell him about my dad who also passed away when I was 9. This opened the door to me being able to tell him about my heavenly Father who is all powerful and will never leave me. He is a really sweet boy, so please pray for him as well!
The next few days in the village, we were able to hang out with L.A. again. We were sitting around talking one day when she told us she had an appointment that night with a lady that was going to come over. I asked her what the lady was coming for and she told us that the lady was a "curandero". This is basically a healer type of witch doctor. She told us that her grandma's friend is the healer, and a few days before she had read her palm and told her that her spirit was absent from her body and still in California. The girl explained to us that she would come over and mix holy water with basil leaves for the process. When she told me this, my heart sunk, and I just wanted to tell her "NOOOO DON'T DO IT!" So, instead, I just asked her some more questions about it, and I was able to share with her the story about the demon possessed man that Jesus drove the demons out of, and into a heard of pigs. We shared with her that God has power and authority over all evil spirits, and we were also able to share Ephesians 6 with her about the Armor of God. She quickly reminded us that she was Catholic, but we assured her that everything we told her she can read in her catholic bible as well. Our conversation ended when her grandma got home and offered to help us roast our cacao beans that we had bough. So, we had a good time roasting the beans, and pealing the skin off of each bean so that they can be ready for the grinder! That night, we were able to attend a small christian church in the village that had about 20 people in it. We felt so welcomed in such a way that we had never experienced in our village before. It was exactly what we needed after a spiritually exhausting week. We went up front and explained the translation project with the church, and we were even able to play some bible stories in the indigenous language of the village to the church. This is something they had never heard before, so it was really awesome being apart of that experience for them!
On Friday night, we had a small party at the guy's apartment, and we were able to invite a friend of ours that is about our age that we met in the Zocolo the week before. We introduced our friend to the guys on team since this guy plays soccer, and so does our new friend. Let's call him… John. So at the end of the night a few of us were talking to "John" and the topic of God came up. It was really cool hearing what he believes, and the questions about God that he has. We were able to share with him what we believe, and he though it was really cool that we spend time studying the bible. He seemed really open, and he even made plans to play soccer with the guys on our team on Sunday! Praise God for these new doors that are opening for us!
These weeks are just flying by! It's so awesome watching God's plan unfold before me, though! Here are some prayer requests from this week:
-Pray for the 17 year old in our village that is confused with religion and animism, and is also suffering from many personal, and health issues right now as a result of a pretty tough life. Also, pray for her grandma and family as well.
-pray for the children at the children's home, especially the little 9 year old boy I talked to on Tuesday.
-Pray for the small church in our village, that these few believers may be bold in sharing with their neighbors.
-Pray for the guy, "John" that we met in our downtown area, that more spiritual conversations may come up!
-Pray that we will find more older people in our village that have a better understanding of the indigenous language that will be willing to help us with the translation project!
-Pray for our health, as my partner and I both got sick this past week