Another stifling hot day, and more life changing moments. Today, we dressed up for a new experience of African church. Nothing could have prepared us for what we walked into. That little black shack we visited a couple days ago that housed a small school of 27 children, pulsed with heart-felt song sung from the hearts of these broken people. We were welcomed by the pastor with the respectful Swazi handshake (hand-thumb-hand all the while holding your right elbow in your left hand). Pastor Peter then led us into the warm one room shack where we saw benches of children in the front and an equal amount of adults behind (total of about 90 people). We were ushered into our seats and brought into instant worship as these people poured out their hearts in song to worship their Lord and Savior. Shock was my initial reaction as I listened to the small room resonate with the most beautiful music I have ever heard, and me being a music teacher…that’s saying something. Looking around at everyone singing and remembering the tough lives they have lived, my heart began to break and my eyes began to water. I was overwhelmed with emotion as I turned and looked at Jon across the room and realized that he was affected the same way. (Woman sat on one side and men on the other)
The service continued on with more singing and talking, sharing and giving of tithes and offerings. I loved their idea of tithing! They had a continued competition between the congregation. They were all divided up into two groups. Every Sunday, they would sing and dance up to the offering bowl in their group, and find out at the end of the service how each group did. What a fun church ritual and a reminder that giving of our money should be given in a joyful manner!
After the end of the sermon, the pastor invited Todd up to speak. I think that they wanted him to give another sermon! Todd did great. He related his words to the previous pastors and talked about faith by bringing up the story about David’s battle with Goliath. He talked about the giant the we all face in our lives…and that we need faith to overcome them. Carolyn also spoke to the kids to tell them how special they were to God.
Wow! The four of us were so moved by the passion and faith of this small group, that we left with our hearts beating for God and His spirit here. I thought of you all back at home and wished you were here to experience this! Thanks for the comments on the blog. The small contact we have means a lot to us.