Sunday, 4 March 2012

Africa - Day Five Sunday

It was a cooler start to the day, and I sauntered in from the garden last for breakfast.  The bread had almost run out, so Faith had made us a pile of pancakes.  The jam had gone too, so I tried a filling peanut butter with drinking chocolate powder.  Jason immediately spotted, "Hey, this is the next best thing to a Snickers bar," and made himself three.  We'd all had a good laugh at the comment on my blog from Neil, his TBS boss, that Jason would always manage to find a shop.  He was feeling a little got-at, and put it down to the fact that he'd woken up earlier and more positive this morning than all week.

We got to Gregory's church at 9.30am, having dropped off Wakey at Joseph's meeting.  Things had been in progress since the 7.00am leaders prayer time (see advertised details on the photo).  We had bible study groups for about an hour, and I had to restrain myself when the subject of tithing came up.  Then we had an hour's praise and worship.  This was buoyant and an absolute delight.  The five members of the singing team each took it in turn to take the lead.  I sneaked a sound level check.  Yes, 81 decibels: then this must be the kit we used at the conference.  We had introductions for all the conference delegates who'd arrived, including several pastors from churches in Gregory's network and Alfred from Uganda.

I ministered for an hour on fathering.  Back at my seat, a lady in front passed around to us some hot lemony concoction that replenished our stamina.  Then we rounded off with another hour of communion, singing from the children, and further introductions.  At 2.00pm, having well overrun the official 12.30pm, things wound down.  We slipped off to the adjacent Multiply office for a Stoney.  Just four and a half hours of the total of seven.  Wakey and Joseph had arrived about half an hour before, having also fitted in lunch!  Part-timers!

Gregory had booked to use the afternoon for time with his visiting pastors.  It was great to sit around over lunch and afterwards catching up with their situations.  I tried to draw out of Gregory his "wish list" to lay before the guys at home.  "The Multiply Trust fund to work better; getting recorded stuff posted on line or available on dvd; faster response to flight bookings and deposit payments; confirmation about staffing the office so follow up can happen; spicy food at the MILC conference," and so on.  "But," he added, "Let me say we have come a long way."  It was great to see Gregory's wife, who's quite poorly, smiling and enjoying the exchanges.

His local pastoral team arrived, and we got quizzed about how community functions.  Having explained about our history and common purses, the question came, "Where do you fit tithing in with that?"  Jason confided afterwards he'd felt sorry for the brother, as he was already 'on the ropes' and about to walk into a beating.  I pointed out that the Old Testament structure of chosen nation, separated tribe (of Levi), and anointed priesthood is demolished in the New Testament, and therefore the system of tithes that funded it.  In the silence that followed, Gregory announced, "Well everybody, we need to get off and find something to eat."  I apologised for somewhat barging onto another man's patch.  Gregory was gracious, and we went off for burgers, chicken portions and chips.  Jonny paid, while Jason found a shop where he got us all a stock of  bottled water.

We found three lizards and a millipede in the rooms, and had a stimulating post mortem on the day.  We contacted home.  Wakey got a blow by blow text commentary as our photos were shown at Heart.  I got a run down on the days attenders and absentees.  We hope our faith for the container and Tanzania gets answered.   Tomorrow we go our different ways: Jonny and Jason up country, and Wakey and I to Rwanda.

We went to bed to the sound of heavy rain: it seems the wet season has started a bit early.

1 comment:

Flamie said...

The suspense is killing us.. did the container arrive? Is the Tanzania conference organised... The fotos on Google maps are awesome...