15 – 16 March 2008
Back in Mgona. There is a different way you clap in praise and another for worship. It is the first thing we realized going into this week’s sessions. In worship the hands are curved and make a more hollow sound. It is the hand clap used for honour. It is a beautiful sound and truly changes the atmosphere. There are some awesome things that you know you would never experience in the city.
It has been the most rewarding of weekends. We are here teaching the final part of the series on salvation, which is ‘born again’. I love this session because it is such an eye opener and it never ceases to amaze me the wonder of a God that completely dealt with the state of sin. I think it was really fascinating the WAY God saved us. And so we speak sin and its origin. We talk about the separation of Adam and Eve from Life – who is God. We speak of Jesus, who is the way, the truth and THE LIFE. Of course in the midst of all this there are two little boys rolling over in the dust fighting. We stop them now and again but they become the thread throughout Sunday’s session.
Yes, there are many children with us. I ‘threatened’ the group last time that if the children outnumbers the adults I will teach the kids. It is sad to see how children are ignored. Of course this is no fault of the people here as they don’t know what to do with them. But every time I look into their eyes I see the least of these that Christ told us to treat them with care. It is the reason why we are thinking of having Sunday school training. In all the places I have been there are no Sunday school classes for kids. There is nothing for kids. They watch through praise and worship probably because they think it’s all adult stuff. Anyway, I believe that by the end of the year some of the places we minister in will have Sunday school. My younger sister Julianne gave me toys to hand out to the children. It was exciting (even though most were used toys). The only downside was the little boy that cried because I ran out of toys.
This has been a groundbreaking series in Mgona because I met the first female pastor in the village. In all my travels (and they haven’t been as many as you would think), I have never even encountered a female in leadership, so a female pastor warmed my heart. Here in Mgona, the women outnumber the men with a 3:1 ratio. Mrs. Samiyeli (Samuel) is her name and she was with us throughout the two weeks. So were 11 others and it warmed our hearts knowing that. We gave them a bible and notebook each as a reward for their commitment. It was a jubilant time. Of course we were asked to give as many bibles as we could but there are only so many you can give per area. This time it was 12. At least 12 more people can read the bible. Of course leaving the other 24 without was tough. You never grow a thick skin for that and thank God you never do. It should break our hearts that there are people out there craving the work and not having access to it.
At the end of it all we said goodbye. It felt like we were leaving home, leaving family. This is another thing that never changes. It hurts and I must admit I don’t know what to do with it. It would be wrong to ask God to remove it and yet… Truth be told I am close to tears. Aahhhhhhh! We will only see this group again in 3 months. 3 months! It seems too long before I can see people I have come to embrace as fixtures in my life. I think to minister to anyone we have to become involved with them, otherwise it is all too clinical and I can’t do clinical. Hopefully a good cry will ease this heavy chest.
A young man came up to us if he could follow us wherever we went to teach. It was scary because we realized how serious this all is. Mistakes cost when people are watching and learning. Do we want him coming everywhere with us? Does anyone want that kind of responsibility? And yet… he just wants the word. Who can deny him? But help us God to follow Christ so he can follow us.
This coming weekend we are in Kamphata (an hour out of town) speaking with youth.