Worship at Acteal

Greetings, dear readers! You have already heard some about Acteal and Las Abejas. The service at Acteal really moved me, so I wanted to share some of the things I saw, heard and learned there. The people of Acteal have experienced such tremendous hardship, yet they speak, sing, and pray with tremendous hope and joy. Their courage and perseverance was truly inspiring.

The first banner I noticed was one that read as follows (I included my attempt at translation to Engligh — I may not be spot on, but hopefully I caught the gist of it!):

“Tlotik el Pueblo De Las ‘Abejas’ de Acteal Te Da La Bienvenidos Por Caminar En La Luz”
(The Village of the “Bees” of Acteal Welcome You to Walk in the Light)

R aul
A utonomia (Autonomy)
U nidad (Unity)
L ucha (Struggle)

V erdad (Truth)
E jemplo (Example)
R espeto (Respect)
A mor (Love)

L uz (Light)
O racion (Prayer)
P erdon (Forgiveness)
E vanjelio (Gospel)
pa Z (Peace)

The service was conducted both in the indigenous language shared by the people in the village and in Spanish. I tried hard to understand as much as I could, and I’ll share with you a short list of a few of the things that I understood as either spoken  by individuals or sung by the choir with great fortitude: Continue reading

Acteal and Las Abejas (The Bees)

Buenas Noches dear reader!  What an awesome day!  The experience in Acteal is one I will never forget.  We have had many of those moments on this trip, but this was truly a highlight.  We left around nine this morning in two vans and rode out of San Cristobal up into the hills to the north.  The views of the green hills were breathtaking.  The winding roads were precarious in some places and the bumpy ride did not agree with all stomachs, but we made it without any incidents, if you know what I mean!  We had very good drivers who were braver than me!

We got to Acteal just in time to see the procession of community and church leaders head down the stairs to the chapel.  As I said in my earlier post, today was the celebration and mass for Las Abejas who were killed in the massacre on December 22, 1997.  We hopped out of the vans and followed the procession down the stairs. We then made our way to seats in the concrete bleachers.  The service was spoken in Spanish and Tzotzil. What I was not ready for was how welcomed we were made to feel. So welcomed that Continue reading

Holy Things

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 Continue reading