It’s the middle of the night and we are awoken suddenly. A desperate cry chases the silence of the night away. The corpse of our neighbour’s son has arrived home. It’s another tragic story we hear about a young person – only 36 years old – he has died in a traffic accident.
We see many of our neighbours working together to clean the floor. When we asked as to the reason for this, they told us that they were preparing for the funeral ceremonies. Our neighbours are poor people so can only afford a three day ceremony with three monks coming to chant. The less money you have, the shorter and more simple your funeral is.
The days and nights are full of loud music, fireworks and monks saying their prayers loudly into a microphone. It makes us feel uncomfortable sometimes. Even when we are inside of our house, we cannot talk with one another because of all the noise!
We see dozens of people kneeling solemnly before the monks and total despair in the eyes of our neighbours. The younger brother of the victim is drunk and keeps on screaming: “He will be born again, he will come back!”
Another family member, also drunk, has a conversation with Mark. As soon as Mark starts to tell about the redeeming work of Christ, he doesn’t want to listen anymore. We live among people who are lost, creatures who don’t know their Creator. It makes us sad and sometimes disheartened. After more than 3 years we still see many of our neighbours worshipping idols. Nevertheless, we keep on trusting that the Word they have heard will not return to God empty.
Photo source: flickr.com