In America, we like to think that the praise and worship that goes on in our Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal, Church of Christ etc. Churches is energized. Americans will compare hymn singing churches with the “new” gospel churches and claim one is better than the other. Well, our team was treated to a three hour worship service that, please excuse the phrase, kicked but! Not only was the spirit in the church, the congregation was giving the Holy Spirit lessons in how to encourage us Americans how to let loose.
The service started with the pastor, Rev. Faleni, introducing the missionaries from North Alabama and then instructing the choir to lead us in song. Even though we could not understand Xhosa (one of the 11 lamguages spoken in South Africa), we could feel what they were singing. The church did not have a piano, so the hymns were accompanied by hand clapping, tamborine shaking, bell ringing, djembe beating and pum pum beating. What are djembes and pum pums? Djembes are drums. Pum pums are rectangular pillows stuffed with various scrap materials covered in pleather that has a resonance as to provide a bass drum fell to a song.
When the instruments interact witht the voices, the spirit causes all types of movement. We then saw dance steps that the average person may think belong in a nightclub, but the steps were the Christian soldiers marching along. Circles of worshipers were rotating throughout the sanctuary.
After an opening hymn, Brother McAlpine then led us in prayer. Another hymn was offered, then the announcements of the day were given. After the announcements came the scripture reading. Mark 16:1-5 was read by the pastor.
After the scripture, the pastor intrduced me as the giver of the sermon and then we listened to a hymn of medidation and a reciting of the Nicene Creed. This was suddenly becoming a worship service, spoken in Xhosa and English, that was familiar to us missionaries.
My heart was beating hard as my soul was being opened and connected to GOD as I was mentally preparing to deliver the morning message. The scripture that I was led to preach from was Habakkuh 2:1-4. This verse had been on my heart for the last two years when my agent, Ingrid, told me to write down my life vision so all could read it.
More about my sermon tomorrow.
Peace and Love!!
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