Sunday, 6/22/14

Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest, and it is; we have nothing but meals scheduled after church. But church is at 8 am, which is the earliest start we have all week. We hear the music start wafting across the compound around 7:45, and we walk over around 10 after, which of course makes us the first people there. The singing is spirited, as usual, and we’re recognizing more of the songs every week. Several of the team have bought Swahili songbooks and have been practicing numbers with the children, so in some cases we can actually sing along. Leonard, the choir director, preaches today, and he’s quite animated, walking up and down the center aisle and making very good eye contact. I can tell the folks are really engaged with what he’s saying, which is the uncertainty of life (James 4:14 and Luke 12:20). Shangazi tells me later than until a few years ago, Leonard was illiterate. He wanted to attend the Bible college, and when Tumaini engaged some Montessori teachers to help some of the children shortly after they were taken in here, Leonard would meet with them every day until he learned to read well enough to attend the college. A remarkable story.

The service runs longer than average—it’s about 3 hours. It occurs to me that when I get home, a service that runs a little over an hour and is all in English is going to seem over in an instant.

We have our usual Sunday chai of uji and a boiled egg. Lois brings some salt out of the house for the eggs, and American tastes rule again.

Around noon we’re relaxing in the house when some children announce that there are new baby pigs, and we all run down to see them. A litter of 8, tiny, pink, and shivering, huddled together to keep warm while Mom eats. I’m tempted to criticize, and then I realize she’s just given birth to 8 babies, and she can eat for as long as she wants. 🙂

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Lunch is a standard, ugali, cabbage, and beef. It occurs to me that I’ve never given you a clear shot of it, so here you go:

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Asher and Nathanael feel like going into town this afternoon, on public transportation, so they do. They claim that we’ll see them again.

It’s Sunday. Afternoon. So I guess you know what that means. I’ll be unconscious for the next bit.

Shangazi is trying to get a good photo of all the Tumaini children for her prayer card and related communication pieces. The one we took recently was against a background of flowering shrubbery, against which their spiffy outfits looked pretty much camouflaged, so today she’s looking for a background with more contrast. She decides that the men’s dorm will work fine, and it has steps to assist in the riserification of the little munchkins, so it’s perfect. But it’s also loud—well, the kids are—so I’ve scheduled nap time to end conveniently just as they arrive. And I find that several team members are lugging water to fill the girls’ house needs, and Asher and Nathanael are back from town in time to help. Boy, this place gets really productive when I’m asleep.

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And just to make the day extra productive, 5 of the girls decide to get their hair braided. This is a long-time tradition on the Africa team; there are ladies who for less than 5 bucks will braid your hair into cornrows; for a little more they’ll weave extensions in so even the girls with short hair can have it long in one day. I’m tempted, but I decide not to.

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Supper at 6 is salad and more mac and cheese than has ever been assembled in one place. Tray after tray of it. Rachelle says she doesn’t think we can finish it, and she’s right. Even though some of us have 3 helpings.

Devos after dinner includes singing, testimonies, and a short challenge finishing up Ephesians with the observation that God has given us all the tools we need to accomplish the great task of the book: glorifying His name by demonstrating unity against natural impulses. We can see that this is a job too big for us, so it’s critical that we understand that God has provided both the tools and the promises to make it happen.

We spend a few minutes after devos just talking, looking at photos, and relaxing before vacating Dan & Jana’s house so the ladies can get to bed. We spend another hour at the guest house before bedtime; we relight the fridge after changing to a new gas tank, and then we settle down to listen to Lyddie read a children’s book to us. Nobody does it better.

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Dan Olinger

Chair, Division of Bible in the BJU School of Religion.

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