Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Present Solutions to Future Problems

Friday we invited Eulalio, Bernabé, Jesús and Rosalino over to the house for lunch.
(They are really happy people, just very serious in photos!)
This actually involves more than just an invitation because when we invite somebody over we also have to go pick them up. It is 45 minutes one way, so it involves a 3 hour driving commitment as well. However, we have found this to be much more effective than for us to go visit their house.
We have lost several people recently due to our showing up at their house. We didn't realize the extent of the peer pressure and opposition to our Bible Studies. Apparently many people sneak to the Bible Studies, but when we show up at their house to visit them, we "out" them to their neighbors or spouses who then refuse to let them attend further.

By bringing people to our house they are much more open and we get a lot more information than people are willing to give under the cloud of opposition in Santa Rita. Friday we found out about a lot of things we didn't realize.

The Catholic church leaders have changed the times of their services to coincide with ours to pressure people not to attend. They have also been trying to get us kicked out before the town council. This is the same exact way the problems started in New Horizon. We have been down this road before.
(Carlos, the mayor's son)
One of those two leaders is the mother-in-law of Mayor Reyes. When I mentioned that her grandson, Reyes' son, attends our Bible Studies, Jesús piped up that Reyes makes him go. Carlos, 9, really enjoys the Bible Studies, but like all kids sometimes would rather play with his friends. He told Jesús that if he doesn't go his dad chews him out and tells him he has to go to learn about the things of God. Reyes has never attended a Bible Study but has always been friendly and supportive of us. It is nice to know that he is not only like that to our faces.

When talking about what happened in New Horizon, Jesús mentioned that nobody spoke up for us because they weren't really our friends. He said that's not the way it is in Santa Rita and that there are many who would speak up and defend us. One of these people is Aaron's son. He is another that is very friendly yet does not attend yet. He has a very strong voice in the community and is apparently frustrated that people won't be real. People who say their Catholic don't attend that church either and while they say they fought for freedom they want to limit people's beliefs about God.
(Fabio aka Lucky)
Fabio has no wife or children and so when he is sick, Bernabé takes him food and takes care of him. He mentioned to her that he is frustrated with the community for many reasons, one being their treatment of us. He is worried that we will be kicked out of the house we are now using and in that way be forced to leave. Fabio said that when that happens he is going to give us his land next to his house for us to build a "Prayer House" that can be there permanently. Fabio is saved but last month spoke to me about reconciling with God. He said that he is mad at the town council right now and doesn't want to get right with God until he finishes the sins he has planned. I think he is referring to just being angry and using a few choice words during the meetings, but who really knows? He attends very faithfully however and is always the last one to leave.

Also of interest is that some people in Santa Rita are now selling off their partnerships in the Co-op. For $6,000 you can buy a share of the land (about 60 acres/shareholder) and become a full-fledged partner with voting rights. This may be plan C or D if we get kicked out because they can't kick out a partner. We hope to never have to go this far, preferring the town council to eventually change the laws of the village and allow there to be a church.

Before they left Eulalio asked for prayer. He has been sick for several months now with several problems including a hernia. I am looking to get him a consultation and hopefully surgery for this.
I just adore Bernabe, she is the most loving person. She is always honest with us and worries and fusses over me and the boys like she does her own children.

Please pray for Eulalio, this family and our work in Santa Rita. Click the "Prayed For" button below when you do!

CRAZY ITEM OF THE DAY: Since rainy season started it has been impossible to get down the dirt roads in Santa Rita. We have gotten stuck several times just trying to make it to our Bible study building. During the dry season Jimmy drives around announcing it is time for our services to start, which in this easy going culture makes a big difference.

When we walk around the village it is a mess. The mud is super sticky and you get taller with each step.
We were really excited last month when they finally laid down gravel. It changed the look of the entire community and we knew it would make our time there much easier. Well...
it only lasted one week. They soon dug impassable trenches on each street to lay down drains! It's been like this for a month now!

1 comment:

  1. I love Eulalio! And Rosalino! Please let them know that I'll be praying for their whole family. And I'm praying for you guys too. (And tell Lucky I said hi; he cracks me up.)


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