Monday, October 6, 2014

My Other Car is a 24 Passenger Mini-Van

That's the record so far, which is I'm sure far less than Guinness would even acknowledge. Maybe if we also counted the live chickens they would consider the transport of that many living souls in the predecessor of the Toyota Sienna some kind of accomplishment. As it stands we just call it getting to church on Sunday. We found a church we could all get to with minimal vehicle transfers and still less expensive than hiring a private car. How remarkable is it that transportation plays such an integral part in selecting the congregation with which you choose to worship God every Sunday?

We start each Sunday testing the weather, however even if it is raining monkeys and cows at eight it could be clear skies by 9:30 when we leave (though we will have to negotiate the path of least muddiness to the main road). The past few weeks we have negotiated the taxi to take us straight to the church after all the other passengers have disembarked. There are four kinds of churches in Uganda: For Ugandans in Ugandan, Ugandan with English translation, English with Ugandan translation, and English without translation. As you can imagine most of the English only churches attract mostly English speaking folks. We managed to find one of the few churches in English with mostly Africans and only a few white faces, which is why we came to Uganda. Not only that but the sermons have been driven by scripture and not about God blessing us with more money if we give, which can be a very popular thing here. And although the sermons are in English the worship is definitely African. There is lots of dancing and jumping and maybe three songs will fill up half an hour. It was a selling point over straight mzungu worship.

Through the course of travel and ministry we have visited many churches but in my entire life of continuous church attendance I have been a member of only four fellowships, that's an average of ten years per church. We've worshipped and served in churches with over 10,000 members and loved it. The congregation that sent us to Africa had maybe 300 max. This church—though  part of a bigger network—probably only has enough chairs for 150 and in a temporary space. We anticipate being at this church for a while. How much we'll be able to participate in church activities outside of worship services is difficult to foresee, we are connected with a couple of the homeschooling families that attend so that may be enough to tie us to community because church without community is rather pointless. 

I hope you have a church community surrounding you. We strongly debated not  going to any church and we could have justified our abstaining without much effort. YWAM could have easily been our community, and in many ways it is, but there is just something about church that makes it different. We always go back to the folks that surrounded us after Wilson's death and how we would've been lost without our church. And obviously without our church back in Texas we wouldn't be in Africa today.

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