We attended and shared in a church today just up the highway from us. Last time we were here, they were still meeting in a mud hut but busy making bricks by hand for this building. Now their building is up and even has a tin roof. It's wonderful to see progress!
When we arrived, the song service was already well underway. There is no such thing in Africa as a "dead" worship service. They're all loud and vibrant with beating drums, moving bodies, clapping hands, and shaking shakers. The shakers used in this church were made of tin cans, filled with seeds, then placed end to end on a stick (you can see the very end of one just beyond the song leader's white gown). They also had shakers made from gourds. All in all, it's was loud. No one got bored or fell asleep. It also took awhile after the singing was done for my hearing to key down enough to hear normal sounds again. Sort of like after a noisy concert.
This is the building. Every brick, individually made by hand from mud, patted into a form, dried in the sun, then baked in a fire. Every brick carefully brought to the site and set in its place and cemented there with precious cement that was brought all the way from town. There seems to be no part of life here that is easy or convenient. Everything comes at a high cost in one way or another, and this building certainly testifies to the commitment and hard work done by this congregation.
As is the custom, we were fed after the service. This is a year of poor crops, and hunger, but still they prepared a delicious meal for us. The meal was massa (cooked, ground maize) and chicken done in a tomato, onion, and oil sauce. The massa is prepared as a stiff porridge that is dipped into the sauce and eaten with the fingers. We north americans aren't entirely adept at this type of eating. I'm pretty clumsy at it though I do manage to get the food into my mouth (all over my hands, some on my skirt, etc.).
|Lunch at the Pastor's house with Dwight, Cara Bob and Sharon, Jackson, Carlito and his brother, Kyra, and Joao.|