I’ve been hanging out with a certain bloke a fair bit and the other day he invited me to go visit one of the spots around the place where initiations are happening for the young boys. It occurred to me that he knew a lot about the different locations in the areas where there are different camps in the field full of boys undergoing initiation, but I never figured out why.
So one particular day we headed off (with Jonno as well) to visit a place where Jando was happening. This is deep Yawo culture. Its about as deep into the culture as you can be invited as this is the crucial time when young boys transition culturally from boys to men. They are taught the responsibilities of being a man, how to treat people, how to treat women, and it seems, are taught a lot about sex. Jando is a cultural secret kept from boys until they experience it and kept from women as well. Women don’t know what occurs in Jando and visa versa – men don’t know what happens in the female initiation equivalent of Sondo.
After visiting the first Jando site it dawned on me that my friend was a key figure in the local area for Jando – not only a key figure but THE key figure, and he had invited us in. Not only that, but who ever we came across he advocated strongly for our presence there and in the wider area. It is becoming more apparent how important this is.
As we visited another Jando site we had the opportunity to pray for one of the fathers who had come to the camp to drop off his son. This sounds straight forward enough but it was a massive moment to ask permission to pray in the name of Jesus in the Jando camp and to be given the permission openly and enthusisticaly.
The relational doors are wide open at the moment and we are being welcomed in to this community. I’m not sure if its just a honeymoon period but it is quite extraordinary. As our language improves we are praying that this openness continues and results in a spiritual openness.