Sunday, October 4, 2009

Day 4 - Church

Total church hours attended: 5

Today, we did not sleep in. It was a change. We woke up, had breakfast and then Elska drove us about 45 mins. to Tembisa, where we met Dawn Drenthe and 2 other girls from Branden's church, and then arrived at Emmanuel Wesleyan Church. We walked in to the sound of a middle aged woman fervently preaching (loudly might I add) in Tsonga (native language of Mozambique) and were immediately ushered by a young woman into the very front rows (lawn chairs covered in white sheets) of the small 100 max. capacity church. There were around 25 people there and our team quickly filled their rows. The pastor greeted us as we sat down and shook our hands. Soon after the woman finished her message a group of young adults and teens began to sing. They had one "mutt" drumset and 7 wired microphones and one Roland keyboard. They continued singing simple praise choruses, some in English and some in Tsonga. After about 30 mins. of singing, one of the singers led us in a prayer. Soon after the prayer, the drums started up a type of reggae-esque beat and the singers began dancing a sort of choreographed dance and members of the congregation left their seats and began dancing up front. I thought of true celebration in Jesus and felt as if that was what I was experiencing. I couldn't wipe a smile off my face. I had absolutely no idea what they were saying but I could not stop smiling and almost laughing. I felt their joy. After the dance party was over, the pastor's wife, Pretty, came up and gave a short 10 min. message in Tsonga and some English phrases. After that, ensued more prayer and singing. Their voices filled the room and I wouldn't doubt the neighbors heard as well. More singing ensued and we had a greeting time in which I believe I was hugged by every member of the church. After the singing was over (for then anyway), the pastor walked on stage and asked Dawn and the rest of our team to come up and introduce ourselves. After we went through the whole team, Branden Peterson, introduced himself and explained that he was the music pastor at his church in Texas. After the introductions, the pastor stayed on stage and was accompanied by a young man (mid 20's) who helped lead in the worship earlier, and began to give his message titled "Breaking Your Limitations". He spoke in English while the young man translated into Tsonga. The pastor spoke of God's victory over Satan's plans for our lives and claiming the authority to fulfill Christ's destiny for us. After the 45ish min. message, the worship team took the stage and sang again and the pastor invited those who felt led, to come to the front and receive prayer. He asked if the "music pastor" would come up and pray and bless the people that came to the front, unfortunately, Branden had stepped out of the church for a few mins. and Micah promptly filled his place and led the church in prayer. "Always have a sermon ready". The pastor then went down front and laid hands on each of the people at the altar, some of them fell over, overcome by the Holy Spirit. It was powerful. After about 3 hrs. of worshiping, the pastor closed in prayer and dismissed everyone. After church, we drove back to Pretoria and had lunch at World Hope SA. Pork sandwiches with veggies. Not too bad. After lunch, Solomon (staff member at World Hope SA) and Bonaventure (R4L staff member) and Elska and our team met and finalized the program for the Hopfest on Monday. After the details were laid down, Elska and her family took us to Doxa Deo, the contemporary Afrikaan speaking church about 10 mins. from their house. It was the closest thing to an American church. Something I didn't really expect. We were led by a young man in songs like "Open the Eyes of My Heart" and other familiar tunes. It felt a little bit like home. Most of the people there were students, and very modern dressed. I think I have my fashion for the next year lined up. Anyway! Now we are "home" again and creating the set list for tomorrow. Our 1st Hopefest. I'm beyond excited.

keep praying.


1 comment:

  1. John - thanks for the update. I could just imagine you there - I'm so glad God opened this opportunity for you. Hug Micah for me :) JK!
    We missed you today but it went well - we almost had 200 by first count. Kyle played drums.
    Love you and miss you more than you could know.