Monday, June 9, 2014

Church Tanzania style

Whoosh - what a morning!

As we pulled into the school yard the church doors were open and the sound of fantastic music pouring out. It was the various choirs rehearsing. We had been told the service started at 10 am and ends at noon. We planned to be picked up at 12:30 and figured we'd just duck out.

The first hour was music - hymns, choir, kids choir. Majorly energizing. Not possible to sit down - hard to conserve energy for preaching. Clapping, swaying - very engaging and moving.

The second hour we got down to business - offering. Called "sacrifice."  Anyway 2 of them - one general and one for local concerns. We walked up to the drop box to put money in and then they got out a basket for round two. Plenty of music - impressive to see the little kids each drop in a few coins. Much more meaningful than direct deposit.

Then some prayers and someone came to me and asked if I was ready to preach.  I was. Since printers are in short supply I preached from the I Pad for the first time.

There was a terrific guy translating,and we finally hit on him reading off the I Pad with me - he really got into then a gesturing and bouncing with me.

A million years ago in my doctoral work we were required to take a multicultural preaching class - I happen to take African American preaching with a student of Jeremiah Wright, minus whatever Obama found offensive later. Needless to say I had not used those techniques again. Until now. But I remembered to increase intensity and repeat phrases and occasionally yell kumsifu bwana - praise The Lord - which always got an amen! Well once I got a hand held mike and a responsive crowd, there was no stopping! I have a video of the last 2 minutes where even the keyboard underscores a point. Quite a rush.

The service wrapped up quickly without another "sacrifice,"  and we were out at noon!

During the closing song we all walk outside and form a greeting lines. As each person completes the line he joins it until there is a huge circle for a final blessing. Very nice!

My whole CCS team came! It was very gracious of them and I appreciated it. Probably increased the "sacrifice," too.  

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