Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Big Book, A Big Transformation

Thursday through Saturday, Christy went to a town about 4 hours from Jos to lead a big book workshop for three languages. She wrote after the second day. Today we wrote a group story. The theme was “Fighting” and the audience was “Children.” We wanted to help children to know that fighting is not good. As we wrote, there was much discussion and debating as to how to best write our sentences into a cohesive story. 20 opinionated men all writing one story, a new kind of challenge. Finally we were getting to the end of our paper allotment, and the purpose was not coming out clearly. Abu was still fighting with his friend Ali. So, I gave an ending that we might move on. “Abu, though he always was losing in fights, turned and surprisingly knocked Ali down! Then he felt bad because he remembered how it felt to be beaten, and he helped Ali up. Abu never fought again.” The room was in an uproar and I didn’t understand why! Everyone talking at once. Then one man spoke up and said, “No, it is not good. Abu would have been proud because he finally was strong enough!” “Yes, but when one knows their own power, they don’t feel a need to prove it anymore! Only a weak man fights to show he is not weak,” I matter-of-factly stated, my culturally formed worldview shining brightly. Another man chimed in, “Here in Nigeria, we would never feel bad about knocking someone down. Especially to the point of helping them up again!” “That is why we must write, people,” I said, more convinced than ever, “Jesus said, “if someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also” should our culture overcome the words of Jesus? That is why we want people to learn to read this Book.” What a challenging idea. I find that Nigerians are peaceful, loving, accepting people. However, according to these men, there is something that says, if someone wants to fight you, you don't ever back down. I think Jesus understood this idea as well, and confronted it with peace. Might this groups 16 stories created in these three days yield fruit!
Christy Yoder, designed by God for a special purpose which only she can fulfill. Zach Yoder, fashioned perfectly by Creator to do those things which God prepared in advance for him to do. The two find themselves at breakfast one Tuesday morning, with a stack of buttermilk wheat pancakes, and they learn something significant about how the Artist put them together in this time, in this space. Take a look at the pancakes and discover with them what you think they saw. Left: Zach's stack Right: Christy's stack

Go Away!

T here were children. Always so many children. Our children are a magnet for other children and so everywhere we go, they follow us giggling...