We had the opportunity to attend an unyagu ceremony or initiation ceremony for Mateus' two girls, who are 12 and 11 years old. These periods of initiation have a very negative conotation and a lot of very scarey stuff goes on during them. The boys and girls have separate initiations and they each are taught about the Yao culture as well as taught what it is to be a woman and what it is to be a man. The boys are circumcised and taught that they can ask for sex from any female they want. It is their right. And girls are taught that they must say yes to any man that asks for sex. Many times they are taunted and stimulated sexually. This particular one, was supposed to take out a lot of the negative teachings and focus more on Yao culture. No one really knows what when on, because they are done very privately. When the initiation period is over, there is a HUGE party. The girls have all new clothes and either have their hair done or get wigs. A goat is killed and relatives from all over travel to come celebrate. We were able to be a part of this party. For Yao Christians, it is a very difficult decision whether or not to participate in these unyagus. If you don't participate, you aren't considered Yao, and yet with such wrong teachings going on during the initiation, you don't want your children to be taught those things. They have to find an alternative or like this create an unyagu that takes out the negative teachings.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Tim's first class on Genesis was this past wednesday and he had 7 people show up. This is a great beginning, much better than expected. The class itself went well and everyone seemed to enjoy it. Now we pray that these people continue beyond the first day. It is hard to get people to be consistent here, so please pray that they continue.
4 of the guys attend the Anglican church that we attend the others are just random people Tim has met and started building relationships with. One of the young guys(in the green t-shirt) has been a christian for a few years and his family kicked him out of his home and his been chasing him away ever since, because of his conversion from Islam to Christianity. One of the guys (not pictured) is young and has AIDS.