Update – May 1

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1 May

Today we will be having services this morning. I will be preaching for the service and this afternoon we will conclude our study time in Galatians.

One thing that I did not realize is that today, 1 May, is Labor Day in Zambia. There are a number of activities going on around the country. It also seems that there have been several religious conferences planned by groups here in Zambezi.  The result has been that we have not seen the numbers that the congregation had hoped would be present. But, we still had a solid group of members and one or two visitors. It has been a profitable time.

The small building was nearly full when we began services.  I learned later that the number present were 68. We had several visitors from the community who had been invited by members.

Our song leader was an energetic brother named Gift. He is by profession a chef. The singing was good. Usually I can sing along with the congregation if I have a song book to look at. I am able to “read” the languages of Zambia so I can sing but in “a language.” Meaning I am singing without knowing what I am saying but still encouraging others. However, there were no song books available.

When my time came I found that I was expected to hold a microphone. They were using the sound system of the gospel chariot. The speakers were set up outside to “broadcast” the sermon.

I preached textually from the first 2 chapters of Acts.  Charles said later that I spoke for “1 hour 27 minutes.”

When I was finished and the singing was done for the inviting it was time for the Lord’s Supper. In Zambia this can take almost as long as the sermon depending on who is leading it. Today Robert one of the men from the chariot will be leading. Robert likes to “speak.” His speaking takes the form of very loud “preaching.” Communion takes about 45 minutes.

After communion there are several more songs and then the announcements and closing prayer. The time is now nearing 1pm. Services have lasted nearly 3 hours which is normal for Zambia. Now we wait for lunch before the afternoon teaching.

The next picture shows the ladies preparing nsima for lunch. Nsima is a staple at every meal. It is prepared with mealy meal. It looks like flour but it can be made from maize (corn), millet (sorghum) or dried and ground casava (a starchy root). As you can see it is really work to prepare.

The afternoon session begins late (as usual). Before we are finished it is almost 6pm. Our study went a bit over an hour but then the question and discussion took up even more time. But overall it went well.

What remains for the day is the Gospel Chariot and our program here is finished for this year.