Sunday, March 4, 2012
This morning we rolled out of our tents a little later that usual, just in time to eat and get to the church (which is next door to the clinic) in time for the worship service. When we pulled in, the countryside was already rocking with African spirituals, beautifully harmonized by a small group of women and children who were accompanied by two guitars and a keyboard...operating off a generator!
|Assembly of God Church|
|...in her Sunday finest|
|The music ministry|
For forty-five minutes we were treated to rollicking music that invited us to clap along...to stand up and sway to the rhythm. The pastor, Peter, than delivered a meaningful sermon based on the story of Lazarus...insisting that God's plan is perfect, that He is never late...even when we lose hope. There's that word again...hope.
I noticed that the gentleman with the open fracture of his leg had somehow made his way to church. The children were perfectly well-behaved. From what I could gather, they do not spare the rod in this culture. The children learn to do as they're told. The elders and warriors dressed in traditional robes, while the women sported beautiful Western dresses. The men were particularly animated during the service. They held their children with such pride and joy.
After the service, we each received a set of traditional beaded earrings and we presented the Masai women with colorful scarves and sewing kits. We headed back to camp for lunch before returning to the village for the official welcoming ceremony in the afternoon, although a sudden downpour delayed everything for a couple of hours.
Each of was introduced at the ceremony and each of us received a traditional Masai "blanket" that was draped and tied for us.
Several of the men, including Vince who you see in this picture, were proclaimed "warriors" and received spears or clubs. The people all sang and danced for us...and we all laughed at our antics. How quickly and eagerly friendships were forged!
After the ceremony, the villagers set out a few traditional crafts for us to buy--beaded bracelets and necklaces, knives and clubs, and other trinkets. I was enchanted with the gourds they use as baby bottles, so I chose two of them.
We spent a typical evening around the fire after supper and enjoyed a quiet night so we would be rested and eager to get back to work in the morning.
"Blessed is the man who has the gift of making friends;
for it is one of God's best gifts.
It involves many things,
but above all the power of going out of one's self
and seeing and appreciating whatever is noble and loving in another."