Final Interview

Today I'm off to spend the day with Fernando and Christy Angeles, before they head back to Mexico. I need only a few more details to finish the rough draft of Fernando's story. This has been an exhilerating and educational experience--writing a missionary biography.

I would appreciate prayers for this book. I pray that it will be used to show young people the need for workers to spread the Gospel to the many in the world who have never heard.

Here is another excerpt:

The Witch Doctor

Fernando liked horses. He couldn’t remember a time when he didn’t like horses. He loved their strong legs and big heads. He even liked the way they smelled. He loved watching their powerful muscles bulge as they pulled a wagon or the sugar cane wheel press, but especially when they galloped. Someday, he would have his own horse. Tata promised.

Right now, he had to be satisfied with old Tsiuw (Stinky) that pulled the wheel press around and around. Tsiuw was old , but she was strong. Fernando often let his little brother, Pablo, ride on her back as she plodded around and around. Chickens ran between the horse’s feet, looking for grain and bugs.

Maybe it was because Fernando woke up grumpy after a night of fighting the buzzing mosquitoes—maybe it was because he didn’t feel like working after chasing the piglet that got into the neighbor’s garden, but instead of just gently flicking Tsiuw with the switch, he gave the horse a sound smack on the rump. That old horse had more life in her than Fernando thought. She let her hind foot fly. It hit him square in the belly and sent him sailing backwards.

Fernando lay still. He couldn’t breathe. He gasped for air, coughing and wheezing. He held his hand to his belly and could hardly stand up. He sat against the wall for a few minutes before hobbling home. His mother was mixing cornmeal for tortillas for supper.

“Nando? What’s the matter with you?”

“Tsiuw kicked me.”

“I told your Tata that horse is getting too old.
We should sell her.”

“No, Mama. It’s my fault. I hit her too hard. Don’t tell Tata.”

Fernando lay curled on his bed for most of the week. His belly hurt so much. Tata was angry because Fernando didn’t think, and now he couldn’t work. Fernando’s belly was swollen and purple. It hurt to sit up. His skin felt hot, but he shivered with cold. He didn’t even want to eat

Mim brought Fernando to the witch doctor the next day. His house was dark and smelled like smoldering grass. There were candles all about. Mim put some coins before a statue. Fernando shivered, partly from the fever, partly in fear of what the witchdoctor might do.

The witchdoctor had a necklace of bones and a black cloth tied around his forehead. He told Fernando to lie down on a mat. He waved a smoking stick over him, chanting words that Fernando couldn’t understand. He waved it many times over his belly. “There is something in your stomach. The horse has kicked the bone of a chicken in you.”

He put a bamboo tube on Fernando’s belly and sucked hard. He pushed harder. It hurt! He sucked and sucked. He then spit a small bone into his hand and showed it to Mim and Fernando. “This is what was poisoning you.” He threw it aside and sucked more, then spit on the ground. “The evil poison is gone. You will be better soon.”

Then the witch doctor dipped a leafy branch in water and slapped it over Fernando’s head and face and belly and legs, all the while saying words that Fernando didn’t understand. “You are cleansed. You can go home.”

Fernando’s belly still hurt. It was almost a month before he felt well enough to walk or run or work in the fields again. He didn’t think the witchdoctor knew how to make him better.

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