Mexico (NTM/MNN) — There aren’t many who relish the thought of death. It marks the beginning of something we’ve never really known before, and the end of what we’ve always known.
New Tribes Mission works with a tribe in Mexico, the Nahuatl people. They are translating the Bible into their language and constructing a literacy program to teach the people how to read.
The following story about the Nahuatl by NTM’s Ian Fallis is a story that all of us can relate to. It is also a story that can inspire followers of Christ to make a difference in the world around them.
Dark is the path that leads past the little Nahuatl village to the cemetery. “It’s a path we all must walk,” said the father of a little boy crushed to death under a truck when a jack slipped. He shrugged, and walked on.
A shadowy path
Word of the boy’s death reached missionaries Peter and Liesl Hypki on a Saturday. They also heard why it happened: magia negra, the villagers said without a hint of doubt: black magic. Two days later, the boy’s coffin was at the head of the procession ambling down the shadowy path.
The moment the coffin began to be lowered into the grave, his father turned his back on the boy and faced east. His family followed his example, and then the whole crowd turned away. They had to: the Nahuatl people believe that if you do not, the deceased person will take your soul.
“To me, it’s the saddest part,” Peter said. “The imagery is stark.”
A path we walk with hope
It also reminds Peter of another Son who died: of Christ, rejected, dying to conquer death and bring us eternal, abundant life, and to give us hope.
This is why Peter, Liesl, and their co-workers, Rachel Chapman and Katie Moore, are there: to share this hope. In order to share God’s message clearly, they must understand how the Nahuatl people think. This is the grid through which the people will understand everything that is said about God.
The walk to the cemetery is indeed a path we all must walk. But, Peter added, “For those who know Christ, it is a path we walk with hope.”
Pray for the spiritual blindness to be lifted from this village.