Sunday, February 17, 2019
Most of us slept relatively well, but unfortunately, Matthias had come down with a cold on Saturday which had gotten much worse, so he didn’t have a good night’s sleep.
We had a similar breakfast to the one we had the day before and shortly before 9 am Doug picked us up to go to the Shammah Temple in order to attend their church service.
Onesphore is one of the pastors at the Shammah Temple. The services are very active and a typical service is approximately 3 hours long. The service started with some singing, followed by prayer, more singing and announcements.
After some more singing, Jeff led the congregation in a thought-provoking sermon on Mathew 16 verses 21-28. Jeff spoke of Jesus’ foretelling of his death, the meaning of the verses, as well as the contrast of His rebuke of Peter for insisting that he would not let Him be killed in comparison to Jesus’ response to Peter in verse 18, where He called Peter the rock on which He would build his church. Although Jeff added inflection and animation to his sermon, Onesphore, who was translating for him, added even more passion to the presentation, which is normal for a Burundian service.
We interacted with some of the parishioners after the service before driving back to the complex to get changed and then to Doug and Deanna’s for lunch.
Several people helped to quickly prepare lunch and then clean up the dishes afterwards.
We had some time for socializing before preparations were made for the evening to accommodate a small study group from the church who would joined us for a visit. The group included Onesphore’s family, his sister’s family, the other Shammah pastor’s family and a few other individuals.
We played a few games, led by Deanna, in order to stimulate interaction between us and it worked. Even though there were people that only knew either Kirundi, French or English, most people were familiar with at least two of the languages so that were able to communicate with each other. After the games, we sang a few songs, shared testimonies and prayed before we had some snacks and socialized.
The time for socializing had been made much easier after the previous activities and it was very interesting as we conversed about numerous different topics and exchanged information. The conversations flowed until 8 pm, when people started to disperse.
After we returned to the complex, we took time to debrief and get everyone’s impression of the day, before going to bed.