Sunday, May 11, 2008

If it's not a rat...'s a fight!!

Last week as Andrew was preaching I heard a few people sniggering. Right behind Andrew, on the church wall (made from woven bamboo) a rat was descending. I caught Andrew’s attention, and pointed behind him. Not so he would do anything about it, but just so that he would be aware of the reason for the large scale sniggering in the congregation. Andrew paused briefly to look at the rat and then made some joke before calling the congregation to focus back on the sermon. They all did so pretty quickly, but I had a bit more trouble. It was a large rat. However, it only graced us with its presence for a short while. It sat briefly on top of the blackboard at then slowly sauntered to another hiding place.
Then this morning, a week later, we neared the church gate. People were everywhere. It was immediately obvious that some fight was underway. We (and the Wildeboers) drove into the church property. Fights always attract a big audience. However, we were not happy with our children being the audience to people getting beaten up and loud angry rock throwing, so we took our children into the library so they would not watch. They, of course had seen some of it already, but we were not sure how it would turn out. I am not sure what the members think of us trying to shield our children. To them this life of violence and tempers flaring is just a natural part of their daily lives. But it becomes the cycle of life here that so many of them learn. The adults do it, the children see it, and when they get older they emulate it. Anyway, although our children are aware of it the “rawness” of life here, and we have to be pretty matter-of-fact about much of it, we still do not want them growing up thinking it is the norm, at least we want them to be clear that it is not the norm God wants of his people. Anyway, the fight was soon forgotten and we were able to hear a Pentecost sermon. May the Holy Spirit work mightily in the hearts of God’s people here in this land.
It has been more than a week since I’ve updated this blog. Sorry! This is not because nothing has happened. Many things have. It’s been a stressful week and this morning the stresses continued, not just in the fights outside church (they were not threatening to us, personally, just not nice to watch), but because of problems within the church which, it is becoming more obvious, will probably not go away easily. The Devil wants to make life hard for all of those who wish to worship God. But we know God is stronger. The Victory has already been decided. May he give all of us his people the strength to endure and persevere!

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