Today Paul has been asked to preach at the parish church in Gisanga.
We were collected at 8am for the one hour journey on the dancing road. This country definitely has more than 1000 hills!!! Services here start at 9.30am and last for three hours. Worship Rwanda style is very different from that which we experience at home. The church is filled with joy and exuberance despite the uncomfortable looking mud pews. Thankfully, as ‘honored guests‘, we had chairs.
The majority of the congregation were young people and, as this was the one week in the month when the four chapels which make up this parish all come to the parish church, the church was full to overflowing with some standing outside listening to the service through the windows and doors. No pressure on Paul then!!!
The choirs from all the churches sang and danced. We attempted to follow the Kinyarwandan hymn book and join in the worship (not entirely successfully) and then it was time for Paul to preach. His sermon was taken from Psalm 19 and translated by Pastor Jean Pierre from Shyogwe Diocese. We have to trust it was translated accurately because he received a round of applause at the end
Having been photographed with all the key people in the church we were directed to enter the pastors house for lunch. The many members of the congregation watching on were not being given the chance to say hello so, in true CHI style we caused a little havoc and went to meet them. Not wanting to worry Kevin but he may have a rival!!!
This impoverished community have spent five years building a new church big enough to hold them all and a few hundred besides. Their belief that the church will grow does not allow room for doubt. The church has been constructed brick by brick as means allowed but now they have reached the roof. 167 roofing sheets and framework will cost around £4000. Most cannot even afford a bible!!! But we are left in no doubt the roof will go on. Will we be able to play a part? More for us to consider on our return.
Back to the guest house by 1.30pm and a welcome afternoon off. The sun shone and we headed out for a walk to the church on Zion Hill. Yep, up another hill.
An interesting chat with a very intelligent young man over a cup of tea rounded off our afternoon nicely.
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