Sunday was supposed to be an early start for us to drive about an hour away to the church lucy and Andrew pastor in Andrew’s home town of Butare. Unfortunately, Lucy’s malaria had not completely been dealt with and she needed to go back to Dr Bomji’s. He is not only their doctor but also a trustee of RUSH in Kenya and his clinic is like a small district hospital with beds for inpatients. Until Lucy returned we could not set off for Butare.
Lucy was too unwell to come to church and so Andrew and one of the RUSH bus drivers drove us in the cars (Lucy’s had a nail in one of the wheels but they seem to drive it until it gives out!!).
Now church could be described as loud, proud and long! So the fact that we missed most of the teaching slot (though we still had about 25 minutes!) wasn’t necessarily totally unwelcome. They love. To use large speakers and microphones and singing is normally accompanied by very loud instruments. This is rather sad as their natural singing voices are amazing; it can truly be a taste of heaven. I must admit to praying that the instruments wouldn’t work and my prayer was answered!!!!! The keyboard was out of order – Bwana Safiwe (praise the Lord). So, we were able to have their unaccompanied voices which was wonderful.
This time I had been told (and had expected) to preach. Normally this is about 45 mins to an hour. So, it was very amusing to be passed a note saying I only had a few minutes left!!!! I was overrunning!!!!!! How could this happen in Africa?????
So, wrapping up we left for lunch at the Anglican guest house at Butare. A lovely place with a large theological college (very strange in such a small remote place!)
After lunch it was back home to Andrew and Lucy’s. Joan and Angela went off to visit an orphanage in town run by an elderly Australian woman who, with one helper, looks after thirty-three children!
The final evening has a bitter sweet edge to it. We celebrate with cake and sodas and Beatrice and Phyllis (A&L’s daughter) sang some wonderful songs. But it is always a sad affair, saying goodbye, packing, sorting things out. We had such a great week out there – being moved and experiencing so much and feeling like we had just settled in that it was very sad to realise that it was our last evening.
We got up on Monday morning to leave for the airport at 5am (2am UK time) rather tired but so grateful for all we had experienced in the past week. We had been through so much together and seen so much that had built up our faith and seen the great faith of so many there.
Final blog post of the team’s thought still to come (plus video of powerful singing in the Butare church)