matching choirs

I think Sundays are my favorite days. They kind of always have been. I have always loved church in the morning, a relaxing afternoon most likely with a nap, and fellowship of some kind at night, with dad’s popcorn for dinner. Sundays here aren’t that different than my Sundays at home. Granted, church is longer here, but the afternoon is relaxing and really nice with our Vesper service and Kara and I had popcorn for dinner last night.

Church in Africa is different than anywhere else I’ve been. And I’m learning to love it. In the States, church is fast and then everyone leaves. In Central and South America, church is long and everyone sits down and talks after the service. In Africa, church is wonderful. Our team has been split into three different groups and we go to three different churches. So Kara, Audrey, Brandon and Michael and I go to Mochipapa church, right next to the current World Hope offices. We go to Sunday school at 9 and normally the Vice Pastor teaches the lesson. Lately we’ve been talking about Abraham and how he was wiser by faith. They also asked the question, “should the church choose spouses for the youth?” which has been an interesting discussion both in and outside of church in our group. By about 10:15, everyone has come and the church is getting full, we start a time of singing and dancing. There is a different worship leader every week and they lead us through different songs and times of prayer, as well as offering. There are two choirs, one with 6 or 7 ladies called the Queen Esther choir and one with probably 30 people in it. They provide special music throughout the time of singing. There is also a praise team with around 15 people in it that gets up and leads us in worship choruses. This is normally my favorite part because we all get up and dance. It’s so freeing to dance in church. I think that’s my favorite thing here, the dancing. They also take offering during one of the songs. After a little over an hour, the pastor gets up and preaches for about an hour. Sometimes it’s longer, like last week, when we didn’t get out of there until one, I think. And then, as we exit, everyone stands in a line and shakes everyone else’s hand. It’s so nice because you get to see and somewhat meet everyone in the church every week. Vespers in the afternoon allows us to sing some of our favorite songs, ones that we know the words to, and read scripture and pray together. It is more relaxed but still pretty powerful and really nice since the students are the ones that set it up every week.

Prayer of St. Francis of Assissi (We used this during Vespers and it’s been something I’m thinking about a lot this week)

Make me a channel of your peace.
Where there is hatred let me bring your love;
Where there is injury your pardon, Lord;
And where’s there’s doubt true faith in you.
Make me a channel of your peace.
Where there’s despair in life let me bring hope;
Where there is darkness, only light;
And where there’s sadness, ever joy.
Oh, Master grant that I may never seek
So much to be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love with all my soul.
Make me a channel of your peace.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
In giving to all men that we receive;
And in dying that we’re born to eternal life.

Both the choirs and the praise team at church try to all match every week. One time, the praise team all wore red shirts. Yesterday, the Queen Esther choir had matching chitenges, shirts and hats and the other choir all wore blue polos and black skirts or pants. It was pretty sweet.

1 comment:

emma said...

how beautiful! i had to stop and picture a church filled with dancing believers...i love it. Can I skype with you soon, please?