Flory was such a good sport during the whole training. He did some of the more difficult translations for us and sat in on most of the sessions. When talk got a little to improper for a Pastor, he would cover his face and wait for us to stop talking about mucus and girlie parts. A few times he just left the room.

We pulled Flory into our lunches several days to explain to him that we may be starting wars between the men and women. He listened intently and asked questions to understand the issues the women faced, and the reality of their lives. We talked with him about breastfeeding, and how accepting the cultural norm of leaving the baby with the mother in law all day was probably responsible for some of the high infant death rates. We talked about the sex in the clinic and the need for a woman’s body to heal to prevent damage and infection. We talked about the abuse the women admitted to suffering and their belief they have no other options.

Flory was amazing. He took everything we said and began to make it real. His sermon on Sunday was about the importance of not following the customs and Taboos of the culture; but of following Christ. He told the women that neglecting their babies to make their mother in law happy went against Christianity. He challenged the women to use their newly found knowledge to help others identify the lies they believed. Victoria could not believe a pastor would say these things, let alone a pastor in charge of other pastors. But he said it, and the pastors who were helping heard it. Change has started.

By the end of the training Flory was no longer embarrassed by the words for girl parts and stayed for most of the sessions helping Georgette translate and explaining the truth to the women.

Jennifer Vanderlaan (Author)