They called at noon and asked for help contacting the community in Atlanta to arrange for the transport of the body, line up a local funeral home that could help, coordinate communications, and arrange to have a funeral here in Austin. Communicating across a language barrier takes patience and time. I have learned to appreciate the use of facial expressions and I am now very aware of using figures of speech that are non-sensical to non-English speakers.
Toward the end of our time together I asked permission to share this news with the English speakers at Parker Lane and asked if we could attend the funeral too and I got the best quote of my life back when Mam Te said, "yes, we are one."
For some time now Pastor Sharon has been saying to the Matu community, "we are one" so that we could work together. When the Matu community is worried that their kids might accidentally mess something up in the Sanctuary and cause trouble, "with the church" Pastor Sharon reminds the Matu speakers that "we are one." And today, when their community was in upheaval trying to plan a funeral, and work with the medical examiners office and deal with the shock Mam Te spoke those words back to me, "we are one."
We are one. My prayer today is that the English speakers at Parker Lane - whether they come to the 10:30am worship service or to Auxanomen Clinic - whether they shop at the Thrift Store or attend a 12-step meeting - whether they are a client at Redemptive Work or at the East Austin Walk-in Counseling Center -- that they will attend the funeral on Wednesday at 3pm at Parker Lane UMC. Beca