November 2020: Apapachar

Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Proverbs 16:24

Apapachar is a word that comes from the culture of the Nahuatl people of Mexico. It means to give gentle attention or make someone feel special through words or actions: literally “to caress with the soul.” When we receive a special blessing, we say that God has apapachado us.

Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Proverbs 16:24

Apapachar is a word that comes from the culture of the Nahuatl people of Mexico. It means to give gentle attention or make someone feel special through words or actions: literally “to caress with the soul.” When we receive a special blessing, we say that God has apapachado us. 

The pandemic has mainly affected the elderly and shut-ins. Facilitators from the Roots in Ruins: Hope in Trauma program based at the Institute for Intercultural Research and Study (INESIN) in Chiapas, Mexico, suggested a way to reach out to people who might not have access to digital platforms.

Volunteers make telephone calls, share a Bible reading, listen to personal stories, and pray. Weekly “journal entries” suggest a topic along with Bible verses, questions, mind-body exercises, and meditations. These entries are written by people connected to the Roots in the Ruins program from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Honduras, Nicaragua, Chile, and the United States. Callers learn that acompañamiento or “companioning” is a way to let people know they are not alone. It is also a two-way blessing. A pastors' wife from the Disciples Church in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, writes, "I was nervous about calling an elderly woman whom I did not know well. Now God has given me the gift of friendship with a wise woman."

Has God blessed you an apapacho, a gentle caress of the soul? May we find ways to apapachar others in this season of gratitude.

Elena Huegel serves with the Intercultural Research and Studies Institute (INESIN) in Mexico. Her appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Church's Wider Mission, and your special gifts

 


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