Church Day & Thanksgiving Weekend

8:30 am  Alarm goes off.  (Good to sleep in a bit as it was 2 am before i finally got to sleep)

8:45 am  Prayer, Breakfast and final message prep (no printer so i have to quickly handwrite my notes)

9:00 am  Elliot picks us up for church…but the truck is out of gas so we need to stop and fill up before heading to Enaleni.  Make it there just in time.

9:55 am  We arrive just as Adult Sunday School is winding up.  A church leader named Mandla is teaching.  When he is done, i ask him what the lesson was on.  He tells me it was on Church Membership and how they have such a need to help people own their church and actively commit to it.  Our conversation is such a confirmation of the message i’m about to bring.

10:02 am  Church begins with the children singing a song.  If i was to try to outline what church was like today, it would look like this:

– Children sing

– Youth and adult representatives come up to give a summary of what they had just learnt in Sunday School

–  Someone breaks out in spontaneous song.  The keyboard player quickly determines what key they are singing in and joins in, complete with funky drum track.  He did awesome!

– Testimony Time:  5 or 6 people came up and shared what God was doing in their lives.

– Someone breaks out in spontaneous song.

– Another testimony…from someone who had left the church but is back!

– Someone breaks out in spontaneous song.  The women all dance past the front, up onto the stage and back down.

– The Worship Team comes and leads in 4 songs.  Everyone who comes up has  a verse and God’s Word is very central to the service.

–  Announcements.   (was waiting for a Coffee Break…but it didn’t happen 🙂

– Someone breaks out in spontaneous song.

–  The Offering:  Pastor’s wife side vs Pastor’s side…plus a third offering for the poor and needy and for those who can’t afford funerals.  (Pastor’s side wins…but Precious’ side has lots of kids…so Pastor Peter’s side is stacked).

– Someone breaks out in spontaneous song as they begin to bring groceries to the front and lay them on the altar.  (Reminded me of Thanksgiving at home).  i’m told this offering is a ‘love offering for Pastor and his family’ that is given once a month.

–  The Choir comes and sings two songs.  They are so good!

–  Someone breaks out in spontaneous song.

–  Pastor Peter comes up and begins to introduce me.

–  Someone breaks out in spontaneous song.

–  i’m invited to teach.  i break out in spontaneous song.  (just kidding).

–  i speak on Moses (Ex 3) vs Paul (Acts 27), “No” vs “Yes”, “I Can’t Do That!” vs “I’ll Do Whatever You Ask!”

–  As i finish, someone breaks out in spontaneous song and the service ends.

After church i had the chance to meet my family’s special friends, Ncomcile and Wilile.  Was great to connect with them again.  This week Cam and i will go for a ‘home visit’ to their homes as well as Cam’s special friend, Lungelo.

1:30 pm  Elliot drives us back to Manzini.

2:15 pm  i offer to buy him lunch.  He wants something ‘full of meat’…so we get a Debonaire’s Meaty-Extreme-Triple-Layer-Pizza-Deluxe.  He’s happy.

3:08 pm  We head for the market.  55 lonely, starving-for-customers shop keepers see us coming and all get excited.  They are all left pretty disappointed as neither Cam nor i are very good shoppers.  i do manage to have a great conversation with one artisan about his work and i purchase a hippo from him.  (‘Yes Carolyn, i do need another hippo!  Just be thankful it wasn’t a giraffe’ 🙂

5:05 pm  Stop at the Pik ‘n Pay to buy our ‘Thanksgiving Dinner’.  On the way back to our guest house we learn that the King’s father (the formal King) had 90 wives!  The current King has 13, each with their own palace.

In the newspaper today i also read a fascinating editorial on “Why Swaziland is so Poor!”  (i’ll bring it home for anyone who might be interested in the political and economic dynamics in Swaziland).  The paper also reported that the current President and his cabinet has just been dealt a ‘non-confidence vote’.  There is a bit of a political storm brewing here in Swaziland.

6:10 pm Arrive back at Asante for our Thanksgiving Dinner…

…consisting of special “Thanksgiving Pizza Buns, chips, Diet Coke chilled on the A/C and shortbread cookies instead of pumpkin pie)….an evening off to watch a romantic comedy together.  (There’s nothing else on)  ‘Cam bails on me to go FaceTime his giiirrrrrlllllffriend.’  (that last sentence needs to be read in a snotty, snitty, mocking tone…because he left right in the middle of the best part!).

But i’m OK now.

Actually, i’m missing Carolyn and my girls like crazy…but have been enjoying our Skype and email exchanges.

10:01 pm  Writing blog update, reading Route 33/66 Bible passages, listening to the wind rattle the windows.  (Little freaky as we hear doors slamming downstairs and we’re absolutely the only people in this hotel.  Even the staff have left and there are no other guests).

Thanks, everyone, for reading and for leaving comments!

Very encouraging!

Blessings…and have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

– Todd & Cam

5 thoughts on “Church Day & Thanksgiving Weekend

  1. Hi guys,
    Thanks for the video for church this morning! Jon did a great job speaking today. How great for you to spend this Sunday at Enaleni church. It’s always such a wonderful experience. I won’t tease you with what I had for Thanksgiving dinner tonight but being in Swaziland, I know you are probably very aware of all the blessings in your own lives. And that’s blessing. Take care. Good night:)
    LeeAnn

  2. I love reading the day’s events and I can visulize all that you are talking about. Sad for that family but what an amazing mom to let you in on her grief.
    I am surprised but Carolyn is missing Todd too! 🙂
    Praying for the rest of your trip and the Summit.

  3. Well done guys. Great pictures, thanks for the stories. The Jet’s paraphernalia is classic. The thing is, what more surprising to see than what you’ve shared thus far is Todd in a tie… (actually just reading that sounds like a line of toys).
    Anyway, as was mentioned above, the video was great and Jonny was also great!
    This investment into Swazi is rewarding on different levels. Thanks for leading the charge.
    Rod (Rene & Jayden)

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