Learning to say 'I'm sorry'

POSTED ON 2009-03-31
  by Dena McMaster

In the Moi culture asking forgiveness or forgiving others is a foreign concept. But since they have heard the Gospel message they are viewing some things differently.

"Wai, wai, awan keo, naawitenaae. It's sort of a mouthful, but after repeating it over and over, I think I've got it down," wrote missionary Stephen Crockett. "[The] literal meaning is, 'My, my, what did I do? Go ahead and dislike me.'"

The Moi people are beginning to realize that compassion is an important part of the Christian walk. Recently Ayaioma, one of the literacy students, was irritating some of the others in the class. Suddenly someone whipped a beetle nut at him. Tears came to his eyes and immediately the others students began snickering.

Soon Ayaioma stormed off, grabbed his bag from his hut and headed in the direction of his hometown -- a ten-hour hike.

Though Stephen remonstrated with the students, they really didn't seem to care that Ayaioma was hurt by their laughter. They just said, "He's too old to cry."

Imagine Stephen's delight when the next day a group of students headed out after Ayaioma to apologize and get him to come back.

"Amazing, really, for the Mois to show that sort of love," wrote Stephen.

Ayaioma returned to class and several Moi students learned to imitate Jesus in showing compassion.

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