September 2018

God's Timing


Sunday we finished the workshop we began six weeks ago on health in Sablog. I explained physical and spiritual health, and Faby expounded on "marriage health." I appreciated the pastor re-explaining the material in Quichua. Although everyone speaks Spanish, the older folks understand better when they hear it in Quichua. We've been visiting this community for several years, and a few members are studying in the FLET bible program. We would like to begin a socio-economic project here, but we have to wait for God's timing.




Who's right?


So we're going over the answers to the questions in the FLET bible study, when suddenly, everyone gives the same answer to one of the questions, and my answer is completely different! Do I tell them they're "wrong?" No! Rather, I change MY answer. Why? Because if all of them understand the question in a particular way, then their answer corresponds to their way of thinking. And the beauty is that all of us recognize this difference. Saturday we began a wonderful discussion of the Quichua worldview versus the Western worldview. "Began" is the right word, because we couldn't even yet identify the two worldviews. But they are very conscious that Western theology doesn't fit their worldview. They feel huge differences. We ended up talking about some of their traditions. Not practiced by Christians, but still held by some folk. One is the tradition of "cleansing the house" after someone has died, so that the spirit of the dead will not return to the house. The question arose, "Even if we Christians are not affected by spirits, how do we help a non-Christian who believes in spirits?" I couldn't find an answer to that in our systematic theology. They are the ones most suited to answering that question. My task is to give them the tools to do so.

Thoughts about "Worldview"

"Now come and put a curse on these people, because they are too powerful for me. Perhaps then I will be able to defeat them and drive them out of the country. For I know that those you bless are blessed, and those you curse are cursed.” Numbers 22:6


Today we laugh at curses and blessings by a god. Because science has taught us to rely on knowledge and technology, and to ignore the spiritual world.
Thus education has replaced the church.


Salt of the Earth


One of the lessons in the FLET program describes how to prepare a biblical message. Saturday in Sablog, with three eager students, we went over the process and came up with the following from Matthew 5:13: “You are the salt of the earth.”

Fishermen, like Peter, would use salt to preserve fish, so that it wouldn’t spoil.

In the mountains, what do we do to preserve potatoes, so that they won’t spoil? Keep them dry and fresh. What do we do to preserve milk? Boil it or make it into cheese. What about lima beans? Keep them fresh and dry.

What do we do to preserve our youth to keep them from spoiling?
How is the church serving in the community to keep it from going bad?
It’s going to take a while to answer those questions.