Noy’s eyes sparkled, and he became animated as he answered our questions about Pnong culture. Each week, we meet together with Noy, our student missionary Ryan, and Makara who partners with Ryan in doing missionary work in Dumchi Village. For the past couple of months, we have been brainstorming together about how we can replace spirit ceremonies in the Pnong culture with God-honoring biblical ones.
Some of the most important ceremonies in Pnong culture revolve around agriculture. Before planting their fields, the people make animal sacrifices and apply the blood to bamboo spirit poles which they place at the edges of their fields and orchards. They sometimes do similar practices in the middle of the growing season. Then, at the harvest, there are spirit ceremonies and a feast.
As we talked together and looked over Bible passages, it seemed as though the Holy Spirit put things together for us. Though our new believers had already planted their rice for the year, they still wanted to put into practice the planting ceremony to ask for God’s blessing on their crops next year. So, this past week, we performed the first rice-field and garden dedications! Praise God!