by Katy Hopkinson
What shall we do?
This was the question the Sibu* believers were trying to answer that morning.
We were sitting on the upstairs veranda of a village house. It was cold and we were rugged up in jackets and scarves. Not what you would usually expect in Thailand, but we were in the mountains.
These believers were familiar with this question. It was not the first time they asked it, nor would it be the last. You see, this group of people were learning to be Christians in the middle of an animistic, spirit-worshipping culture, one they had adhered to until very recently.
Today’s issue was to do with pregnancy. Prem and Praew, new believers and newly married, were expecting their first baby. According to village tradition, if a baby is conceived in the first three months of marriage, a sacrifice has to be made to keep the spirits happy. Praew, the expectant mother, did not want to take part in this sacrifice but her parents, still unbelievers, were insistent that it happen. In fact the whole village expected it to happen.
After some discussion, the little group came to a decision. Jesus had already made the sacrifice for everyone. They would tell the people what they believed and the village could go ahead and do the sacrifice but without the new parents being part of it.
And Jesus, always at their side, clapped.
His children were learning!
*Sibu is a pseudonym.