Central Asia – Nargiza

I sat on the floor of an older woman’s home on a tush shuck and quietly listened as the women chatted away in a language I didn’t understand. When a kettle was poured over my hands, I responded to the translators instructions to wash my hands three time then dry. I held my hands out and swooshed them over my face when the blessing was given over the home. I smiled when necessary and ate another piece of naan to mask my awkwardness. I was told that the woman serving us was my age. Her name was Nargiza, she was the host’s daughter in law and lived there caring for her husband’s family. She brought lots of food to our table-on-the-ground and prepared a fresh soup when her mother in law requested. My new friend showed a true heart of service to her family and her culture. She gladly served her mother in law with love and kindness. She seemed happy, content.

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As the time went on the older women began to discuss the reading of the Holy Book and the stories of Exodus. Nargiza was invited to sit with us after she had completed her chores and when the translator asked if she would like to read the Holy Book she answered that someday she may. The older women then began reading aloud the story of The Passover. They read, and read, and read, in a language I didn’t understand from a book I had every freedom to read and yet, I take advantage of that simple gift.  We discussed that by the covering of The Blood there was redemption power and I quietly prayed that Nargiza would catch hold of this gift, so she can in turn pass it to her children.

As we left the home the translator apologized for how boring it must have been for me to sit listening to the reading of Exodus in a foreign language. I assured them that the reading of the Bible had never been sweeter to my ears. As we shook hands and gave kisses to our new friends cheeks, I was instructed to open my purse as a bowl of dried apricots were dumped inside. A gift for me… a sweet reminder.