Monday, May 10, 2010
Who let the dog out?
We had a pet dog for many years in Venezuela. This little mutt of a dog has lived in and seen many parts of Venezuela where most Venezuelans have not even seen. This little dog, named Short Stop, lived in Cuidad Bolivar with gringos, then moved to a Yanomami village, Parima, then a Piaroroa/Gringo/Yanomami/Ye'kwana village, Tama Tama, and then with us in Chajuraña, for ten years. We took her to the large city of Barquisimeto and when we left Venezuela she went to live with Brazilian friends in the town of Acarigua. A smart little dog! Well traveled!
But, while in the jungle, Short Stop would follow us everywhere. She was one of the most faithful church attenders! She would walk with us and sit outside the door to wait for the service to end in order to accompany us back home.
The Ye'kwana churches always open up the service so that anyone who would like to share anything at all, may have the opportunity to come forward and do so. Some people may share a verse of scripture, others a testimony or prayer request. This is culturally part of every meeting as each member of the tribe may speak his thoughts at the round house and so in the church, each member also has a chance to speak if desired.
Usually, anywhere between 5 - 20 people might share something before the pastor would bring the message. Makes for a long service, but they enjoy it!
Except one Sunday morning. It seemed no one had prepared anything to share on this morning. The pastor asked yet again if anyone at all would like to share but no one responded.
Short Stop must have decided that having lived with so many missionaries for so many years, she was as well prepared to lead the worship service as anyone else. So ...she walked right in the front door, slowly up the center aisle, directly up onto the platform. 100 eyes followed her as she turned to face the audience and, head high, let out two resounding barks, turned, walked slowly back down the aisle and out the door to await the end of the service!!!
I have never seen anything like it!
All the Ye'kwanas looked around with wide eyes and smiles and my husband decided it might be a good morning to share about Balaam's talking donkey!