Our link to the church and guide for the day was Mulami (deacon) Simon, who we knew from Kananga before he moved to this village. When we arrived, our first stop was his house, where according to the extravagant hospitality of rural Kasai they wanted to feed us a meal. So, although it was only 9:30 in the morning, we happily ate the bidia, chicken, and beans that they generously served.
After reaching the church, we were served some peanuts and bananas (when arriving from a journey, you must be hungry!) while also learning a little about this church. Pastor Mbambila had been there about 4 years and had studied theology at the pastoral institute at Mutoto. They typically had 75-100 people in worship – but today several people were visiting from neighboring parishes because of the excitement of our visit.
choirs and leaders. Many people bring their own chairs to
worship because there are not enough benches!
and their locally made guitars and other instruments!
Bob preached a message from Ephesians 2:11-22, exploring the way that Jesus broke down the barrier between us and God and between different groups of people. Jesus modeled reconciliation for us, and therefore we can humble ourselves and practice reconciliation and forgiveness with the people around us. After the service Mulami Simon said to Bob “it was as if I had told you before-hand what the struggles in our church were! That message was perfect!”
After the service, we were served another meal of bidia, chicken, beans, and rice, as is customary. We had now eaten 4 times in one day, and it was only 2pm! The church had really hoped that we would bring Bibles and songbooks to sell, but unfortunately neither were available. We did bring some other books though, and several people seized the opportunity to get a book about women’s work, a biography of a Kasaian criminal-turned-pastor, and a new songbook of worship songs to Kasaian tunes. We were grateful to see the commitment, creativity, and simple faith of this community of believers!
Thanks to Jeff Boyd for taking and sharing some of these pictures and videos!