When I came to the internet today, I brought my camera so I could upload the pictures from the mountains- only to find that my camera battery has died, which means no pictures for you. Sorry. I'll try to post them next time!!
Only a couple days before the trip, Matt decided to stay back at the orphanage, so it was only Isaac and I that went. The bus ride was 7 hours long, and we were standing for the first 4 hours. They cram as many people as possible on the bus, and when we arrived at the bus station at 6:40 am, there were probably already 30 people standing in the isle.
When we got off at our bus stop, there was virtually nothing around. We called our missionary friend, Queedy, who came to meet us. Then he took us to his house. We expected the walk to be not too far- and were quite surprised when we hiked down a valley, took a boat across a river, hiked up a mountain, hiked across the mounatin, and then came to his house sitting on a hill. Queedy is a native of Leostho who married a missionary from Holland, Gerdin. They have been living in the mountains for over a year now, and have helped to start a church. The people in the mountains do a lot of ancestral worship, and believe that the way to get to God is through the ancestors.
Village life is quite different than city life. You are expected to greet and have a meaningful conversation with EVERY person that you pass, or that pass your house. As we walked through the village we stopped as Gerdin chatted with every person we saw, and with the people in every house that we passed. Not greeting neighbors or people walking is highly offensive.
Queedy is a farmer, and Isaac helped Queedy in the fields by digging and planting. I'm not really into manual labor and so I hung out with Gerdin most of the time. We visited a local hospital and prayed for patients who were sick. We saw some really sick women and children. I am sure by the sounds the children were making as they tried to breathe, that they had TB. I also was able to help Gerdin with organizing a Christmas event she will do with the children of the village this week.
When the sun came up the day began, and when the sun went down we lit candles and that was the only light visible. There is no electricity where they live, and so daily activities are controlled by the daylight. While I was in the mounatins I wondered to myself if I could live in their living conditions and committ my life to making Jesus known to one community. I'm not sure is that is something that God will ever call me to do, but at least now I have an idea of what it would be like. Gerdin and Queedy are amazing misisonaries who have really given their lives to share and show the good news of Jesus to those who don't know.