Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sundays in My City--Village Church

Tom's student is really happy--they just get serious around cameras.

 Last Sunday Tom was invited to preach at the church of one of his Bible students. He has gone there three times before but I had never accompanied him so this time the church members insisted that I come as well.

The church was tiny and yet they managed to fit 150 people in there. The ladies that are walking up the aisle are actually dancing in as they sing Praise songs. 

The church was so full that children were gathered around the pulpit as well. They stared at me the entire service. 

There was a whole lotta shakin' goin' on!
After the women sang, the youth group stood up to sing. They filled the tiny floor space to capacity. Song time is accompanied by lively dancing. My seat was right next to the floor area and was quite low sitting which meant that I had an interesting vantage point for all the hip-shaking and grooving. I was never so thankful for my camera which allowed me to 'escape' to higher ground. I stood in the corner to take pictures.

The drummer was really feeling the music

Since it was Sunday morning and church day, most people had bathed so there wasn't the regular pungent smell of unwashed bodies that you might find on a bus or in a crowded shop, but that many people in a small room made for pretty stale air.

Tom has been slowly taking this congregation through the basics of the Bible. This past Sunday he was explaining what sin was. The last time he preached he found out that there is no Bemba word for sin. The only word they have is the same word for mistake. The trouble with this is that if one thinks that sin is the same as a simple mistake it really takes away the seriousness of intentional wrong doing. We have encountered this and so have been working to teach the difference between say, accidentally knocking your friends plate of food of the table or stealing food from their house. Mistakes can be taken care of with an apology but sins carry consequences.

The faces on these children will always make me happy!


  1. I really enjoyed this post today. The lack of the word 'sin' is something I never thought of as being an obstacle when learning the Bible. What other cultural obstacles does Tom come across? Are witch doctors, which you've spoken of before, the only other 'religion' in the area?

    Smiling children, adorable!

  2. The language barrier is very intriguing, that they had no word for 'sin' or something close. That says a lot about their culture.

  3. I giggled at the picture of them staring at you! Ha! I know a little what that feels like from living in Russia.
    What a challenge in communicating sin! Thanks for sharing your church with us!

  4. Those happy faces made me smile too. What a joyful day.
    Happy SIMC and have a great week, xo jj

  5. Love the pictures and I am always intrigued by language barriers.

  6. Wow-What an interesting life...Thanks for stopping by my blog today ...other wise I never would have found you!!
    Your new friend,

  7. I needed some shaking and groovin at church today. It was so quiet and I was up all night with a baby which meant I was falling asleep! Hopefully a mistake and not a sin! I did say I was sorry!

  8. What an amazing experience.
    They children all look so serious as they peer up at you.

  9. Fantastic post and I agree with you. Their smiles are priceless!
    Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful day.

  10. Carol CroftMarch 07, 2011

    Undoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world,
    yet none of them is without meaning.
    If then I do not grasp the meaning of what someone is saying,
    I am a foreigner to the speaker, and he is a foreigner to me.
    1 Corinthians 14: 10-11 (NIV)

  11. What an amazing Sunday!


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