We have been experiencing some very incredible, very holy things in our days here in Chiapas. The days are moving so quickly that before it really “sinks in” that we only have three more days, we will be on our way home. Today we worshiped with Las Abejas, a community of indigenous people who suffered a horrible massacre in 1997. We were invited to “pray with our feet,” participate fully in communion, pray with them in the tomb of their loved ones, and sing a song for the whole community. The hospitality that we experienced was breathtaking and humbling. They are a “resurrection people,” who will not allow the power of death to silence them or to steal their joy for life.
Yesterday we spent the day with a group of indigenous women who are a part of a weaving co-operative that is lifting many of them out of complete poverty. The co-operative involves lots of workshops that help these women find their own power, resist violence against women in their own communities, and immerse them in a wonderful, and clearly joyful, community of women that are from so many different communities in Chiapas.
This is a very inadequate description of what we are experiencing, but hopefully will give all of you who are reading this blog some feel for what is happening in our lives. It is difficult to describe the many ways we are being formed and changed by out teachers here. This night I am grateful as I have been for over 20 years for these particular teachers, our teachers, who are the Maya indigenous people of Chiapas and Guatemala. They are in many ways the most transformative teachers I have ever had. May God bless them, and may all of us who are here be relentless in our work for justice until our teachers no longer suffer the horrors of poverty and oppression!
Chris Smith, the tired and overjoyed professor of our traveling community.