Journal entry 4 June 2014 (Cont’d from 3 June)
“The hives still haven’t gone away–does this expose my complete lack of faith? Faith as my faith healers would understand it, anyway.
“So this guy may not have been Jesus himself or even a saint conducting miracles, but I appreciated the sentiment, the cultural experience, and the opportunity to share it with people I love.
“Not long after that spectacle was concluded, it was time for Peter and I to go back to the school for study hour with combined classes 3+4. Peter started with some genuine English exercises, but eventually they started asking about their health homework. Since we’ve been talking about teeth and eyes, etc. (we had done preliminary eye screening for that class the day before), eventually we were talking about Peter’s and my glasses and how the lens relates to the microscope they looked through the day before, etc. Before long, my glasses were being passed around, each student trying them on for a fraction of a second before everyone would disintegrate into giggles. Over and over again we laughed and laughed. Then I dared them to try to walk around the room wearing them. Moses (the tallest, oldest, and shyest in the class) was the first to take up the dare–and we all laughed harder than ever when he only made it a few steps before swiping the glasses off his face and rubbing his eyes. This went on almost until the study hour was over.
That was one of the best moments I’ve ever had with those kids.
Then it was time to walk home. It was dark so our little brother Nesi and a friend (Lina) kept running ahead, hiding, and trying to jump out to scare us. By the end of the walk I was chasing them down the road, both of them screaming and laughing their heads off.
“Then we ate dinner with Nesi and Alisia (ages 9 and 11) and they told us stories of visions people have had, and how kids were being led around the village praying to scare away the devils. Much like when my American brothers and I were kids, they could hardly get their stories out because they kept getting so excited and talking over each other. Peter and I just did our best to keep up and remain enthusiastic listeners.
“Much of it was hard to follow as they told us about a devil that was wandering through the village that night–he wore a hood with horns coming out and huge teeth stuck out of his face. Nesi recalled for us the path that was taken as the pray-ers chased him out fo the village–also something about digging up a yam, someone’s hand in the ground swelling up because of this devil, then running away–another story about being in church with ‘the Healer’ from the day before, and how as everyone had their eyes close he described a vision to them–something about Jesus or the Holy Ghost pouring a cup of water on him to clean him–maybe he was the one whose hand swelled?–and when everyone opened their eyes, he was all wet.
“Then seamlessly these two kids went into telling us about a movie they saw where someone was decapitated and someone else washed his blood. Then a girl was tied down to a table, her arms and legs tied down and a ball gag put in her mouth…..
“‘That’s enough of that! I’m too scared to hear more~’ Thank you Peter for not letting that go on. Alisia admitted she had run away when they watched this movie.
“Movies are rarely a one or two person event here. When there’s a movie playing, half the village is watching. Kids and all.
“Of all the events of the day, from the faith healing onward, playing and connecting with the kids was by far the most touching part that filled me full of love for everyone there. Two kids telling us about their devout community–men, women, and children alike–watching a movie such as that described above was by far the most frightening.
“Feeling integrated, all in a day’s work, after 1.5 years of trying.”