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Nsango Na Bomoi

April 26, 2012

Finally, a blog I’ve been trying/meaning to write for days!  Isn’t that the way it always is?  When you have time to write, there nothing about which to write, and when you don’t, it’s because there are so many things happening and all of them should be shared!  Well, that’s this week, for sure!

So, Sunday, we went with our neighbors to their church, Nsango Na Bomoi.  From what I understand, the church has been in his family for a couple of generations and he is now the pastor.  Besides his family, we were the only other white folk there, of about 200 people.

The road to get to church is extremely poor – in the states it would not even be considered a road (except maybe in Alaska, hee hee).  It passes through one of the poorest neighborhoods in Kinshasa.  It also passes a very large cemetery.  The cemetery is so large and so full that bodies are being stacked or buried vertically.  The edges of the graves have been washed away by years of hard rains, so there are broken graves, tombstones, and markers all visible from the road.  The week prior, a bone was spotted!  We know a family whose baby girl is buried there.  It is a visible reminder of the need for hope in this community of people.

The church also has a school.  The church building itself is still being built, so we all sat under an awning that is part of the school.  It had walls on three sides and a roof.  The breeze coming in on the cloudy day made it less hot.  It was still hot, though.

The entire service was in Lingala, which was really fun, even though we didn’t understand a word of it.  There was lots of singing, some of the songs were familiar to us, though we didn’t know them in Lingala, of course.  The sermon was passionately delivered and he even included the very main point in English: If you were to die today, where would you be going?

After the main service, there were ten baptisms.  The congregation planned ahead and built the baptistry, and later will build the church around it.  It is stuck in the side of a very steep hill, but up we went anyway, skirt, baby, bags, Levi and all!  The view, though, was really fantastic.  There was so much joy in seeing these people, both young and old, commit to their faith!  And the singing was so passionate!  One of the older widows, Mama Victorine, made sure Amelia and I had a spot up front so we could see.  Amelia kept playing with one of the girls’ hair and shirt and everyone around us in the crowd thought it was so sweet.

Just before the baptisms

The baptismal - in the back ground, under the roof, you can see the blue chairs for church

After the baptisms, and the hike down the hill, we gathered with the members of the church back under the awning for a vote for the newly baptized crowd to be accepted as members.  It included a mini sermon, I think because some people asked questions.  Then we all had communion.

Levi attempting to make new friends. "M'bote!" (Hello in Lingala)

It was a very sweet fellowship, even with the language barrier, and we look forward to visiting again.  Unfortunately, the pastor and his wife are leaving on furlough this week and won’t return until September.  We are especially sad because they live across the street and have been such a help to us!  Ah well, we hope they have fun with family weddings and new grandbabies!  I suppose those things are important, too.

After church, and a brief discussion, Matthew declared the decision to have their family over for lunch.  Our first Sunday lunch at our house!  First of many, we hope!  It was yet another time of wonderful fellowship and a relaxing afternoon.  Exactly the way that’s needed to start our week!

Next up, I hope to write about our workers, my first shopping trip alone, and perhaps Matthew will tell you about some of the projects he’s been working on this week.

Happy Friday, everyone!

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