Monday, February 11, 2008
We got up early to catch our 7:30 am van. We are off to Mudaka church about 15 kilometers (9 miles) north following Lake Kivu. That is a bit misleading! It took us 1 hour and 10 minutes to get there. I wish I could describe the drive. All six of us would tell you it was a ride in hell on our way to a heavenly experience! It was on roads that are literally beyond description. We got beat up on the ride and I do mean beat up. Ed said if he had known how badly the roads had deteriorated he would have never had us make the trip.
When we arrived they treated us as royalty. We entered as a group and sat on wooden planks that had been placed over their baptistry at the front right side of the building. The building was a really nice brick structure that Ed Nickles helped them build in 1983.
We worshiped the Lord with them in some great rhythmic motion. The pastor introduced Ed and Brenda and then Ed introduced each of us to the congregation. I preached the same message as last Sunday on hope, shortened a bit due to the fact it took us longer to get there than we all anticipated and I needed to adjust for time sake! We arrived at 9:30 am and the service ended at 12:30 pm. We shared in times of thanksgiving, the Lord's Table. They dismissed all the non-baptized people prior to taking Communion, a unique way for many of us.
Forty-Seven people came forward after my message to repent and be prayed for. They placed straw mats in the center of the room and they all knelt as the Elders prayed over them.
They then had the sick come forward in a large group; not sure how many, and then they invited Mick one of our Elders to come and pray over them.
There were 466 present at the service; there were three other locations having services also from this congregation that totaled 1,000.
At the close of the service the pastor invited me up front and prayed a blessing over me and asked they our congregation pray for them. He read from I Thess. 5:16-25. I was in awe. That is our Shalom passage about being sanctified in Spirit, body and soul. It was a God moment.
After the service we were given a tour of the grounds, shown the original mud and board building built in 1972. They have a really small and deteriorated building for a medical clinic.
They treated us to a chicken, rice and banana lunch.
We took our long ride home and got back to the house at 3:30 pm.