Monday, August 9, 2010

Blogging, Places of Worship and Christmas Decorations, August 8

I enjoy it when so many of you comment on how you miss reading my blog.
It makes me feel guilty, but I enjoy it ☺
Now that Doug and I are both in language full-time for the first time, our lives look a little different. We seem to need every spare minute to study our hundreds of note cards, translate 1st grade readers, write out scriptures or small stories in our language, and get prepared for the next day of class. Doug and I determine what we want to learn and how we want to learn it, so we have to go to each of our language classes prepared to show them what to teach us. It's an
interesting concept, and it puts a little more pressure on us to be on the ball.
Anyway, since I am a writer at heart, I always have a blog going on in my head. Unfortunately, they haven't been making it on screen lately.
I do want to give you a small snap shot of a church I attended last Sunday. Kylie and I went early in the morning with a lady to a church that starts at 7:30am. This lady works on Sunday, so she has to attend the early service.
We met on our road at 7am, and started trekking off down hills, through pastures, across mud puddles to our destination about a mile or more away.
The church doesn't have lights or electricity, so it was very dark when the service started. The two pastors who were doing readings for that day were positioned at the front of the church, each by a window, so they could see their Bible.
I saw decorations hanging from the ceiling and up front behind the altar, and I whispered that they must have had a wedding at the church the day before.
Silly me. My friend told me they were decorations left up from last Christmas!
It wasn't until 8:15 when there was enough sunlight coming through that I could actually see what I was looking at. Sure enough, there was a banner across the church name at the front saying, "Merry Christmas," in red letters on a gold background.
I knew I was going to like this church.
The song leader wouldn't let the congregation sing anything that sounded like a funeral dirge. At anytime the songs weren't lively enough for her, she stopped everyone, made them start over, and she made sure they sang with gusto.
I was asked to stand and greet everyone, so I did…in Lugbara, and then sat down. My friend said I hadn't said enough, and she made me stand up again, and say some more.
Why didn't I remember that this is a custom in an African church for first time visitors?
I could have had something so wonderful prepared in Lugbara. As it were, all I said was, "I greet you all. My name is Kathryn. I'm from America, but I stay in Arua. Thank you."
Pretty pathetic, huh? The only redeeming quality of it was that it was in Lugbara, and so the congregation loved it and all grinned at me.
The guest preacher for the day saw one lonely white person in the crowd, so every now and then, he would look at me and translate a little about what he was talking about. It was a little
uncomfortable, but nice.
English is nice!

1 comment:

LoveforAfrica said...

I can so identify with the "language barrier." Its so frustrating! Prayin' for you guys. Glad you got to experience a "lively" church service. Love you!