Our 36 Day God Adventure in the Bandundu

Day 14 : Sunday, September 18, 2011

During the night we had a very heavy rain again.  For a lot of the evening there had been lightening and thunder leading up to the storm.  When the rains came, they really came.  Everyone has been telling us how much they need this rain.  Even without the pounding of rain on our tin roof we would have known it was raining by the drips in our bed.  At one point, we simply put a bucket between us in bed to catch the drops.  The mice were in rare form too - dancing and singing all night...they must be congolese mice!
After breakfast, the service started at 9AM.  All the songs were ones we had sung in Sunday School or church as we were growing up.  Richard preached on John 20:21,22.  "As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you."  Some of the choirs that sang had walked 3-5 km this morning to get to church.  I lost track how many choirs sang in all.  There was a row of little girls sitting in the front, absolutely adorable and you should have seen them singing and dancing.  How can they do that at their age??  Immediately following the service, the pastor asked If Mama Fifi and myself would stay and speak with the women (actually it was the women who asked for this).  I reminded them of their value to God and how He has a role for them to fill in His work.
After lunch, it was basically time to set up for the first training session.  We met in the church which had walls but no roof.  Where people were sitting on bamboo benches there was a covering either of sheets of tin or of palm branches.  In all about 30 pastors were present but over another 50 people had shown up, wanting  to follow the teaching too.  Once we finished around 6PM , some of the team set up for the film outdoors on the soccer field.  Those who had come from other villages to take part in the choirs had stayed around all day in order to be able to watch the film. There had been a soccer match between Tono and another team just before the film - huge crowd and incredible enthusiam when Tono's team won.  You would have thought it was the world cup.  What it meant was that people stayed around for the film in great numbers - 100's actually, perhaps even 500+.  As I write this by candlelight, I can hear the crowds' reaction to the film.
All the team is getting anxious to move on to our next stop - Kikwit. Don't get me wrong - it's lovely here in Tono.  But we are all finding it hard not having any contact with the outside world and especially with our families.
Pastor Muzau has spent his entire day meeting with many family members.  They have all come wanting and expecting his help, advice, etc.  I somehow think he will need a rest after this stop.  It was from here that he was sent to do his pastoral theological training and here he returned for his first 13 years of pastoral ministry.  While ministering here, his third child, an 8 month old baby boy became sick with a fever.  Unfortunately he was given an overdose of medication by a nurse and died within 30 minutes.  It's his tomb that we saw yesterday as we walked around the grounds.  I have come to love and respect Pastor Muzau so much.  He told us about an incredible movement of God's spirit in his own life and in the church at Tono during his time here.


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