The Hayes Zoo
- to know God and use our entire lives in service to Him.
- to stand in the gap through prayer, giving and service to viable ministries in Latin America.
- to be transparent helpers of fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, using our resources and skills that through the Holy Spirit, we might encourage and equip those who have less.
- to share a living perspective from Latin America to our churches, friends and family in the states and beyond.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Oral learners and teachers
Last week Jim and I traveled to a town about 4 hours from Mitla in the central-west of the state of Oaxaca, called Tlaxiaco, to participate in a local missions-training school there. The school is called Sin Fronteras, and they focus on training Mexican students for mission work, with an emphasis on the surrounding Mixteco villages. Our purpose there was to teach a three-day seminar on story-telling, or, more broadly, on teaching people of an oral tradition. Nearly half the world's population is either illiterate, or otherwise traditionally learn and pass on their culture via oral means - they verbally pass their history and traditions to the next generations using stories, songs, drama and narration. In addition, 75% of the bible is written in narrative form. In telling these people about God, it makes sense to incorporate their natural learning inclinations; even in the US, most of us who grew up in Sunday School learned the stories of the bible at a young age, long before we ever actually read them - as oral stories. In the case of indigenous people who will never have the entire bible in their language, then, oral communication of bible stories becomes an important tool. The hospitality in Tlaxiaco was top-notch, and the hamburgers in the central plaza after dark are good enough to write home about.
Also, almost a month ago Jim and I spent a couple days in the eastern part of Oaxaca, visiting pastors in Juchitan, Matias Romero and and San Juan Guichicovi. There are 3 different indigenous people groups in this area, and while there we distributed various materials to the pastors there and touched base with them on their current needs, and also discussed another upcoming seminar on story-telling .
Besides the traveling, I've spent several weeks working in the recording studio here. I've recorded much of one Zapoteco New Testament that we are now in the process of wrapping up, and also am currently editing an audio set of the Luke video in Zapotec. There is also a 'Perspectives' course being taught in Oaxaca City one night a week that I have begun attending, though we'll be leaving for the US on furlough before this course finishes.