Saturday, March 3, 2012
I have taught for many years, so I value education. I used to think knowledge and wisdom went hand in hand. Two women, whom I met while staying in a very poor, rural village in Nicaragua, challenged this assumption. At first, all I knew about Narcisa and Maria was that they had only a third grade education, so I assumed them to be just simple campesinas – farm women. Now that I know more about them I realize they are two of the wisest woman I have ever known. Their wisdom comes not from a classroom, but from their love of Jesus Christ and their passionate desire to serve God by serving others. Here are their stories.
The priest visits Narcisa’s village only several times each year to celebrate Mass yet the people wanted to gather for worship and to share Scripture together more regularly. In spite of her lack of formal education, Narcisa felt God calling her to become trained as a “Delegate of the Word”. She now serves her community by leading Bible studies and weekly Sunday worship.
After the devastation of Hurricane Mitch in 1998, Maria knew she had to do something or many in her village would perish. After much prayer, she left her family and walked alone for several days down the mountain through mudslides and flooded rivers to report her village’s status to the local government. She then hiked back up the mountain laden with emergency supplies that sustained them all until aide workers arrived.
Scripture tells us wisdom “…comes from heaven [and] is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” (James 13:17) I may consider myself well educated, but I am humbled and challenged by the Christian wisdom of these two women – wisdom evidenced by their faith in God, their love of others and their selfless actions.
Posted by Jill Maisch at 4:27 AM