Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Language and Culture

Today after watching street dancing, we learned more about the rituals and traditions through the many cultural presentations. (We did not get to see all of them however as Alexie once again suddenly became ill and I needed to quickly get a trike and get her home. I am not a doctor but my guess is the heat and long periods of time without food caused her to suddenly get pale and sink to the ground. But she is fine now.) In the many presentations we did see, we witnessed the offering of many sacrificial chickens. The people here have rituals surrounding the rice planting and harvest, a new home, matrimony, and sickness. During the one demonstration regarding sickness, they called out to the spirits and the spirits of dead ancestors to release the spirit of the sick person.

Although we were not standing near each other, as we talked later, we found that Thomas and I spent this time praying for the people to come to know God. He is the one who brings true blessing, hope, and healing.

While the dancing and presentations were going on, we distributed the water bottles we had prepared. God's love and salvation is free and does not require the sacrifice of chickens, goats, pigs, or water buffalo. Yet as we tried to give out the water bottles, many were hesitant to accept them. A few even refused. The idea of a free gift is new to them.

This afternoon we were so blessed to spend a few hours with Dr. Lawrence Reid (Laurie from yesterday). This was definitely an appointment from God. He has lived in the Philippines for many years studying the languages, although he does not currently live here. He lectures all over the world on Philippine languages and was only here for a few days. Yet he offered to spend his time teaching us. The few hours spent with this author of a dictionary of the Bontoc language were so helpful. We still have much studying to do but now we have a basic understanding of some of the grammar and syntax of the language which gives us encouragement in our quest to learn to communicate in the heart language of the people we now live among. God added an extra bonus. We read a story of a missionary, Joanne Shetler, The Word Came With Power, years ago in our homeschooling. She lived in a village near here in the 60's, learning their language and translating the Bible. Many of us have reread the story since having some time in the Philippines. Today we were all surprised that the man in our living room was who took this woman to the village and introduced her to the people, assisting her in many ways! We enjoyed hearing a few stories along with our language lessons.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, what adventures :-) I admire those who live the missionary life in foreign countries. God's blessings to you richly! I added your blog to my reading list!