We set the alarm so we could leave to walk down the 4 km to church in the morning. It was slightly cool but the sun was starting to warm up the air. Along the way we met lots of friendly faces and more calls of ‘hello Jennbarr’.
The church service actually started at 10:30 am so we were in plenty of time! We had nice chance to explore the area around the school and the church. Jenni has noticed some great changes, including four new classrooms and working taps. One word of wisdom when discussing the new church and progress for its completion (it is now in its fifth year of construction), Mr. Nyambalo stated: ‘Hurry hurry is not a speed’.
At 10am we went into the Vestry to meet with the Session. We were warmly welcomed as they planned the service for the day. Jenni was asked if she would like to preach and declined due to us only just arriving. She was asked ‘if she could manage a prayer’ and indeed, Jenni said she could. We also formed an instantaneous choir (we were listed on the ‘programme’ of choirs, seven in all) and taught the congregation ‘Welcome everybody’ then joined together for Kumbaya.
The service started at 10:30 am and ended at 1:00pm! However, despite the length, it was excellent to be sharing with them. There was a wonderful variety of choirs singing traditional and modern songs. There was an electric piano (with the electricity run from a house about 400m away) and a band wearing blue satin shirts! We got up and danced and sang altogether. Pure magic.
There were also traditional prayers and readings in Chichewa which we were able to follow in borrowed Bibles and song books. A collection was taken and the totals from each district were read out....interesting!
After lunch we were welcomed to the Session Clerk’s house for a drink. We were overwhelmed when it transpired she was also planning to give us some lunch too. We had a lovely meal of rice, boiled eggs in a tomato sauce and some peas. It was an honour to have such a warm welcome.