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December 2021


The last priest of the Fengche village descended up the dry village path overgrown with wilting pigweeds, briskly walking past the mighty old Haitala tree towards a house over the edge of the hill. Today he was especially adorned in his formal traditional outfit: a hornbill beak headgear, traditional cotton parri, an eagle wing fan, and a small cased dagger. It was an important occasion and he had his wife polish his hornbill headgear twice. It had been quite a while since he was summoned for priestly duties. The importance of his priesthood was fading with time, with people of his village branching out to settle down in the valleys to embrace the growing churches of Abo Jesu. Gone were the days when the ardor of a priest sanctified every event in the village- every child born, every field plowed, every house warming event, every marriage ceremony, every sickness, and…