Journal Entry Fourteen

It is a quiet Monday night here at Chiredzi. And there is no internet, so I it will be Tuesday before anyone can read this. It is amazing how boring it can be when the screens aren’t really working. I started a book, but not so into it that I want to continue. So here I sit, thinking about a great weekend. I already talked about our Friday and Saturday event. The more we reflect, and the more the team here talks about it, the better it is looking. I did have a small part in it and I feel good about what I did, but there was so much more which was great.

He came and picked us up at the mission house. Well, that was the plan, but when he arrived in his old, how is even running Nissan pickup, he had half a dozen people in the bed, going to church with him. Two got out and joined Sherry, Mary, and I in our pickup. We now had a guide. The way was supposed to be simple, and for the first part it was. Then it was off the main road and down the trails to the church. As we came around a corner then appeared a community. It had a soccer field, though not kept up. Soon we arrived at the church. It is not large, and is in need of some love and care, paint mostly. In the field next to us was another group of believers, an Assembly of God we were told, meeting under a tree. I parked and took a tour of the building and grounds. It was located near an irrigation drainage ditch. It was a pretty setting, grass making its way to the ditch, flowers, and a small parking area. There are building a new bathroom which will be nice when finished. It is badly needed. Fortunately, I did not need to use the one that is in current use.

Then it was time for church. The service was well attended for the small building, lots of teens and primary age kids (that has been a pattern we have seen). The regular elements were present. We sang for a while. Just a drum and our voices. Some of the songs are translations of hymns that I recognize and can sing the first verse and chorus several times over while they sing the rest. Other songs I have heard in my travels but being in Shona, I have no idea what they are saying. Still the joy and movement of the singing lifts my spirit and I find myself worshiping with fervor. We had communion and took an offering. Then it was my turn. Mr. Mapiko had been at the Friday morning preacher meeting and heard my talk on stewardship and wanted me to talk about that. So I took the middle of my stewardship lesson and made it a long sermon. I was long, maybe one of the longest I have ever done (remember there is translation in there too.) After we sang the invitation, the asked Sherry to speak a bit. After some questions, the men stayed as did the kids and Sherry shared her testimony. When finished the men and kids got up and headed out of the church. But the women corralled Sherry and wanted more, so she talked some more. It turned out to be a rather long but very good morning.

We made it home and spent the afternoon resting. In the late afternoon or early evening, our missionary neighbor/friends invited the three of us, Sherry, Mary, and I, over to their house to watch the next installment of “The Chosen.” I saw season one and this was the second from season two. I have watched episodes four and five now. There are four kids in this family and the dogs and a cat. We watch the show, and ate some popcorn like substance (I have had it in the states so it wasn’t some odd, African thing).

Just a note about the show. I am enjoying it and I have heard and read some talk about how it is straight from the Bible. While there is nothing heretical in it, the authors have taken liberties with the story. Mary Magdalen has a much larger role in the show than in the scriptures. Last episode the lame man healed by the pool was Simon the Zealot’s brother and the healing was to get Simon’s attention as well as heal. While one cannot say it is untrue, it isn’t in scripture. That said, as long as we remember that there is license being taken with the story it is a good story. Oh, and I was given pause when it suggested Jesus was rehearsing the Sermon on the Mount and working out the wording he wanted. Maybe or maybe not.

Today was another IT day as our guide had other ministry duties. We have a very busy week ahead, Wednesday – Sunday. Looking forward to what God has in store for us. And we found the Chiredzi’s Pizza Inn is pretty good stuff. Night and God bless.