Tuesday, October 29, 2013

a local celebration

1 day.
6 houses.
15 minutes trying to tie a head wrap.
Countless months recovering from all the food we consumed.

This was Tabaski-the largest holiday celebrated in our country. The base of this holiday is the story of Abraham & Ishmael.* Every male head of household must sacrifice a sheep to thank God and atone for sins committed the past year. People will go from house to house throughout the day asking their neighbors and friends to pardon sins done against them. 
*Many people here believe that God told Abraham to sacrifice Ishmael instead of Isaac.

Our town had it's own version of "Black Friday" where the Market stays open the entire night before, families come together, the whole day is spent preparing food and eating. It's a day full of joy for them, and a day of reminding for my team and I. 

As the day of Tabaski drew near, the invitations kept coming. We started with 3..then 4..then 5...then 6. SIX FAMILIES. Five of these families were close friends, and one is a house where we have been really wanting to invest in relationships. We just could not say  no. 

We experienced something new in each house, from seeing the sacrifice happening, to eating french fries for breakfast, to chugging a drink made from ginger because that's the only way I could get it past my taste buds. 

It's crazy for this American to witness holidays such as this. We read verses pertaining to sacrifice, but I never truly understood the process. As I heard prayers being done, as I watched the sheep being slaughtered, as I saw them placing their hope on a mere animal, I understood parts of scripture like never before. One house asked if we sacrificed our sheep for Easter. Hello, opportunity. Oh, how great it is to know, "It is finished!"

"he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption."
                                                       -Hebrews 9:12


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