Sunday, 11 March 2012

Africa - Day Twelve Sunday

Over breakfast I had a brainwave.  Wakey had been getting a regular mobile signal, so I blagged his phone to connect up my laptop.  I had four futile attempts to email some photos home for the Sunday meetings.  I did get two blogs posted, but felt frustrated.  Today was going to be a challenge.  We were going to be split up, at the mercy of interpreters, and tales had reached us that our churches would keep us in the vestry office until we were called forth to preach.  Rukundo caught my unsettledness, and prayed for me. 

Abundant Blessings Church is up a side track near River Msimbazi.  Recent floods had destroyed 200 nearby homes.  The building is modern and airy, with open lattice replacing windows.  We (Jacob and I) heard the worship before we spotted the building: my sneaky measurement later clocked 81 decibels.  Yes, I was ushered into the office.   I tried to converse with Jacob.  “We met these Americans yesterday,” I offered.  “Uh-huh, I was at their meeting last night.  They’ll be hosting 5,000 pastors from all over the country, paying their travel and accommodation, using two helicopters, and advertising on radio and TV.  It will be well done.  We’ve hosted them all in Dar es Salaam: Bonnke, Cerullo...”  I felt thoroughly lectured to.

In the auditorium, I caught one sentence of English in two full hours.  The cockerels crowing in the nearby homes brought a touch of comfort.  I always associate this with the tropics: balmy and unvarying dawns where you can predict the time by the rising daylight.  The uninsulated metal roof was radiating down the 30+degrees midday sun.  My trousers felt like I'd inadvertently left them on in the shower.  I was drifting.  Suddenly, twenty or so excited ladies mobbed a young woman on the front row, and led her to the platform.  “Some kind of celebration?” I leaned to Jacob. “Yes, an engagement,” he replied, as a young man stepped forward holding out a ring.  She knelt before him as he put it on her hand.  “C’mon, we’re praying for them,” Jacob urged.  The pastor thrust a mic into my hand.  “And I’m going to minister about celibacy, later,” I groaned.

Actually, the preach wasn’t too bad.  Back in the office, a super-deac guy bustled and fussed about, working out how to hang a sheet at the back of the platform to use for our projector tomorrow.  I felt slightly more assured.

Jacob and Luvanda joined us for lunch.  It took ages, but they seemed to be warming up.  Wakey had had a blistering time preaching, prophesying, healing, deliverance, dedicating a baby, and picking up Tsh26,000 for his efforts.  Rukundo was happy with his first sermon in English – his Swahili being the weakest of the five languages he uses.  Jason and Jonny had ‘done good’, too.  Wakey told me off for being absorbed with my phone’s failure to get a signal (and insisted that I mention it).

Afterwards Rukundo quizzed me whether people who fail to allow the cross to deal with their selfishness are really saved.  I had an opening to engage with him about Multiply’s future.  This was the conversation I’d been waiting for.  “We feel we must start to impart something of what we are, not just make nice presentations that testify to the Spirit’s leading and maybe inspire pastors to join the Network.”  He nodded.  I went on, “It will be troublesome.  In Rwanda, real building will mean calling Claud, Aimable and Deogracias to violently enter the Kingdom.”  “I have tried to do this,” he stated.  Wakey explained, “It’s the difference between the pastoral/teaching ministry and the prophetic/apostolic one.”  Rukundo listened patiently.  He was a man at his limits, but not drawing back: “Then, you must press forward courageously with this you have said, as you are telling me that I must in my way, too.”  We’d asked, and he’d told us. 

Night had come.  We prayed together and were quiet for the rest of the evening.  I went down to reception and tried the Wi-Fi.  The smartly dressed but clueless lady waved a Cat5 cable at me.  It wasn’t plugged to anything.  That explains why there’s no connection.  Tomorrow – troublesome ministry about the Two Kingdoms.

No comments: