One of the amazing things I’ve discovered is the wisdom displayed by indigenous men and women as they unpack spiritual insights after listening to Bible stories.
Iglesia Comunidad Cristiana del Vaupés in the Amazonian basin of Colombia, South America, invited MAF-Learning Technologies to come and train indigenous church leaders with the tool of Bible storytelling for evangelism and discipleship. Approximately 30 people, both men and women, attended the training sessions from three different ethnic people groups: Cubeo, Tuyuca, and Kuripaco.
Elva Carrillo, a Cubeo wife and mother, got up early to walk three hours with her husband and children to learn alongside others in her community. For Elva, the most significant moment came when she heard the story of Shiphrah and Puah, the Hebrew midwives in Exodus 1. “Just like the Lord blessed the midwives for their obedience despite cultural pressures surrounding them, so has the Lord blessed me as I obey Him in the midst of difficulty and stress,” commented Elva to the other women in her group. She went on to explain how her little boy had fallen sick with a fever, but without a doctor or a clinic nearby, her family had requested that she take her son to the local witchdoctor. She told them a Christian cannot have two masters; you either follow the God of the Bible or you follow the gods of your ancestors. Her bold stand propelled her to pray on her knees and sing songs to the Lord for three days. At the end of the three days, her boy was healed from his fever and her family grew silent from the testimony they had just witnessed.
Elva’s understanding of the power of the resurrected Christ reminds me of 1 Corinthians 1:10,
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
I am humbled by her example and find myself agreeing with another part of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians:
But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong.”
This blog post is dedicated to the many other “Elvas” in Latin America who are wiser than this world will ever perceive them to be.