Journal Entry Thirteen

This week was a little slower than some. Tuesday was a holiday here in Zimbabwe so the locals were off for the most part. I did some work on bringing a couple of computers up to date and setting up Office 365 on them. Wednesday we were scheduled to go to the bush to witness some baptisms and do whatever else was planned, but that didn’t happen because crocodiles were too active. Thursday was a planning for the weekend day and more computer work. Then the fun began.

Friday morning was the monthly Pastors meeting. Nineteen pastors (all Hippo Valley pastors) were in attendance.. They did some business then turned over over the meeting to me to share a presentation on pastors and stewardship. It was very well received. We gave out some gifts we brought for them, a string backpack, a composition notebook, a pen, a tie, and a woman’s scarf for their wives. After the meeting, we had lunch from the local fast food place, Chicken Inn. Think KFC with soggy fries. We like it though.

After an afternoon prepping, we went to a leadership seminar sponsored by the mission. It was held at Chishamiso Church of Christ where we had been earlier in the trip. I can not sure how many were there, but all but one mission church was represented. We gave out more backpacks, and in fact, we gave out all the rest of the backpacks we had made up and then gave away some with just ties to latecomers. They seemed very popular. On a side note, the pastor’s small, maybe 3 or so, walked across the front of the church to his dad wearing one. He was so cute. The evening was filled with singing, dancing, and church reports. I was scheduled to close the evening with a sermon. The evening went on and the reports kept going until it was late. I finally started preaching twenty minutes after I was supposed to be ended. I was given thirty minutes and chose to do fifteen. Dinner was chicken, sadza, and cooked cabbage. We got home at 9:45.

Saturday, today, we started early. Breakfast, which we skipped, was at 6:00, devotions was at 7:00 and I was scheduled to teach at 7:10. I actually got started at 7:30 and was done by 8:15 or so. Then more church reports from church which missed the night before. The most senior minister gave a “report of the state of the church.” It looked at the history of the mission and asked the unity question. “Are we one?” Then our brother Alone made a presentation on the mission’s vision for the next five years. We had lunch, chicken, sadza, rice, and cold slaw. It was a very fun day. We are home early afternoon and preparing for tomorrow and a Sunday worship at Old Mill Church of Christ.

I offer a couple of random observations. This weekend was both informative and just plan fun. Before things stated a pastor/elder we met earlier on the trip pointed to a gentleman and said, “Watch this guy.” We did and he brought a joy and laughter to our singing time. He had a great voice, but more than that he had an enthusiasm that was contagious. When I get home my first sermon is going to be “Joy in Worship.” During the church reports a man stood and announced that a friend of many in the meeting had died while traveling. We stopped the report, sang a hymn and took an offering to help with some expenses. Then back to reports.

Today ended with a discussion about topics which were introduced, either as part of the program, i.e., an AWANA program or as a result of “Are We One?” I will not recap what went on but there were some strong feelings and discussion of eldership. There will be a leadership seminar in September and I would expect a return to the question. It was a question that got me thinking about eldership as well.

So we are in for the night and await another Sunday. Today marked our one month in country. We both feel as though what we have done has been well received and we have both been energized and excited to be here. God bless and my we all remember that we are part of One Great Body, the Body of Christ.

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