HomeMissionTanzania 2011PostsChurch at Murukurazo

Church at Murukurazo

Today we dragged the boys off to village church. It is not something they enjoy, but we were hopeful it would not be too long and boring for them as I was preaching. It also helped that their mates Jonathon and Lameck were coming (as it was their fathers church). Also Ephraim was coming to translate my sermon and Ellie was also part of the the team.

Saskia and Ephraim

We were returning to Murukurazo where we had been once before when mum was here so the kids had stayed home. We promised on that day that we would return two more times before returing to Australia. So after making the date months ago, John the Pastor came by on Friday afternoon and asked if one of us could preach. Well obviously that meant me!! At the time he came I was just reading my daily bible to life email from David Reay. It was based on Deut 30:19-20, I had been thinking it would make a good short message to share with some students here. So I shamelessly (with David’s permission) based my message for today on it. Now I preach in English and so Ephraim kindly offered to translate. It meant I had to make the English simple and the sentences short. So after I prepared my message on Friday night and Saturday morning, I sent it home with Ephraim to study. Poor thing - he starts his Form 2 National Exams on Tuesday and spent last night and today with us. He says he doesn’t mind, it is good practice for his English (and he gets a good feed).

Saskia, Ephraim & OliverSo this morning we piled 5 Lawlers, 4 Rusabella’s, 1 Ephraim and 1 Ellie into the trusty SURF plus guitar and headed off to Murukurazo - about a 15 minute drive from Murgwanza. As usual we were warmly welcomed and ushered in to sit up on the alter as it were. We performed a song in Swahili with Rob on guitar and vocals. The kids took off outside to play in the rain, then it was my turn to speak(preach). After my introduction in Swahili (bad Swahili, but Ephraim insisted I try), Ephraim read the passage from the Swahili bible then it became a tag of me and him. He only got stuck once, on the word compassion.

After the message we needed to introduce ourselves. Rob managed to say Praise the Lord and I am Robert in Swahili then it was over to me. The boys arrived at the end so I then introduced them. Jake had to correct my Swahili as I said he was 4 (nne) instead of 8(nane), a common mistake I make. We then sung another song, in English this time.  We were informed that now, because we had been twice, we were welcomed as members of the church family at Murukurazo and were free to come any time without informing anyone and without having to sit up the front and share something.

So with the service complete and the parade out of the church and the compulsory handshaking and final blessing we thought we were done. However……we were then invited back into the church as the choir had a short presentation for us. This choir has recently recorded a CD and is trying to raise money to make a DVD. So they sang for us and explained about their plans and challenges in raising 4.2 million Tsh for their DVD. They thanked us again for coming and invited us to be guardians of their choir. They asked that when we return to Australia that we will pray for them and communicate with them and tell people about them. I promised we could do such things and that I would show the short video footage that I took of them and teach my church in Australia to dance when they sing.

I encouraged them to carry on their work and I read 1 Corinthians 15:58 to them ‘ 58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.’

By now I had said enough and they insisted that Robert must come and speak. Now this choir has some people we know in it, namely Iga who I work with at the Nursing School. Iga has been very keen to get his hands on Rob’s guitar for his choir for many months now. When I saw Iga on Friday at the nursing school, he said ‘don’t forget to bring our guitar!!’. Rob had been planning on not bringing his guitar home anyway. So rather than contributing to a choir DVD we decided to give them Rob’s guitar. Of course Rob is not ready to part with it just yet, so now we must return again in Dec (as we promised 3 times) and hand over the guitar.

So NOW 4 hours later church was done and it was time for lunch at a local home. We were welcomed at the home of another hospital worker, Imani, who works in the accounts department. On hearing that Ellie plans to stay ‘forever’ in Ngara it was pointed out that Imani was single and ready to be marrying. Ellie kindly declined the offer but I don’t think the matter is finished.

So now we are home, I have had a cuppa and trying to psych myself up for another Fat Burner session as I am so full of bananas and beans and soda. Maybe I will have a short nap instead. But first I must attend to the girls at our door that everyone else seems to be ignoring but I know they have come to do some drawing.

It’s been a good day but I do still miss Australian church very much.

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We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.~

Kenyan Proverb
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