The yam planting was finally finished.
At last it was time, Chris Hostetter writes, for the Pal people to help them with work on the outside walls of their house.
“Monday morning,” says Chris, “we went up the nearby mountain to a patch of bamboo and cut a couple hundred down. Seventeen bundles of 10-15 bamboo poles each were carried down the mountain to our house. And then the cutting, pounding, weaving and hammering began.”
The first step was to stick a bush knife into one end of a long bamboo pole and run it the full length, cutting it in two length-wise. The next person would pound each half pole flat with a hammer. These flattened pieces would be cut to specified lengths and woven together.
When a section was done, it would be hammered to the outside of the house to create a section of wall.
“In case you were wondering,” Chris explains, “the outside walls of our house up to this point have been a tarp.”
When the bamboo siding project was finished, a day was set for a big community party. Pal custom dictates that a house opening party should be held before an owner sleeps or eats in his house.
“We had already been living in our house for over a month, but for us the party was planned to make the Pal community happy,” Chris says.
The Hostetters wanted to express their appreciation to the Pal people for their hundreds of hours of help in clearing ground, cutting posts, gathering beams and rafters, and weaving bamboo.
Six pigs were purchased for the occasion and were served with yams, crackers and noodles. Many people stayed for the night and gathered around fires talking, telling stories and enjoying the feast.
“When I feel asleep last night,” Chris writes, “I could still hear people chatting in the night.”
The event, he says, was all about community amamas, which means “making someone happy.”
The Hostetters are happy and grateful for a completed house and the Pal community is “made happy” with the house opening celebration.
“And so the work in Pal goes on,” says Chris.
Take a minute to pray for God’s blessing on the Hostetter family and on this new bamboo home in the Pal village. Pray that He will help Chris and Maggie in building meaningful relationships with Pal people that will help prepare their hearts to receive the message of the Gospel.