By Whitney and Hannah
The day started at 7:45am for breakfast with the team. Soon after we headed on a long walk up to the church were we experienced our first glimpse of Mbeyan life. On our journey we met many children that were eager and excited to welcome us. Whilst waiting for the service to begin, we had an opportunity to play, mingle with the young children and local people.
As we entered the church they all welcomed us to our front row seats. The church was already so lively and packed with people, everyone was singing and dancing with enthusiasm so loudly it seemed as if the roof was going to come off. Everyone was clapping and joining in including the team although we didn’t understand the words. I felt as though I wanted to sing at the top of my lungs, dance and let out shout praises like everyone else (Whitney). Next we watched a number of choirs and dancers perform at the front which included young ones all the way through to the older adults. They were so passionate about their love for GOD that individuals stepped out to sing solos to lead the group. There performances looked so natural that I figured it must have been rehearsed, but its quite possible they have been doing this for a long time. It was so humbling to see how these people who have so little are willing to praise and give thanks unceasingly for what little they do have. The Bishop Kenneth introduced Sharon and thanked her and the team for coming to spend their time alongside them. Sharon then introduced the team to the church to which everyone was so welcoming and interested to hear about who we were. Sharon then gave a sermon from John based on Jesus’ teaching “Come to me if you are thirsty and I will make water flow from your inside like a river”. Unfortunately for Daniel (Kenyan) the sermon ended with him being drenched with a bucket of water!!(Great fun). After the service ended, as we left the church we came out and shook the bishops hand. Then they continued along the line to have everyone come out to shake our hand creating a huge hand shaking circle whilst music was playing. This communal activity made us feel very involved and welcomed, as this was a first for some of us. Then was play time! The kids were so excited to mingle with us, clinging onto one another’s hands. We then made a conga line and played lots of clapping games and any other interactions we could think of to entertain them. (eg having their picture taken was a favourite!)
After a 3 hour church service and lots of playing it was time for some lunch.
It was yum! After lunch we headed back over to the church to meet some of the Tanzanian volunteers. The idea of this was to get to know one another while assessing their English language abilities. All of the volunteers may not be suitable for translating but will all be needed to assist in other ways. We then had another church service which was less crowded but still had a lot of similar people. Again they all welcomed us and gave singing and dancing performances. Sharon then gave us another sermon this time about The Journey. This was very relevant to us as we had been on a 2 day long journey. During this several members of our team gave personal testimonies and insights in to their lives which was very powerful. The end of this church service concluded our day so we headed back to the Karibuni.
We have an early start tomorrow as we begin to interview all 2300 sponsored children