A service in Mugina
Trip Start Mar 26, 2012
32Trip End Apr 29, 2012
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Where I stayed
Mo´se and Nathan were at the hotel to pick us up for the ride back up to BusÚruko in Mugina for services. Nothing more than usually out-of-the-ordinary occurred on the trip north. We arrived at 09:15 and saw the space under the tarps was full of people waiting for us to arrive. As soon as we got out of the car, a song leader had the whole group start singing hymns – old favorites that we recognized immediately.
We were ushered to seats in the front of the hall, and services began right away. After three hymns and an opening prayer, Nathan Mokeshimana introduced us and gave each of us the opportunity to make a few comments of greeting to the gathering, a custom in this part of the world for esteemed guests.
After the closing hymn and prayer, we asked to remain seated because a children’s choir had prepared two songs that didn’t quite fit in services and no one wanted them to be disappointed.
By this time it was lunch time, so the deacons began dividing the 200+ people into shifts by congregation so they could have the meal we were able to provide for them for about a dollar each: rice, beans, greens, plantain, and a soda.
After we wrapped this all up, we began preparing for the trip back to Bujumbura, which passed without special incident. We were tired when we arrived in mid-afternoon though. The constant swerving, the starting and urgent stopping, the heat that keeps us moist during the travel and the warm air blowing in through the open windows all create fatigue.
Having arrived at the hotel we asked Nathan and Mo´se to have rest as we would also do, and then come back at 6:00 pm when we would share a last meal and take care of accounting and bookkeeping for our stay and for the needs of the church in Burundi.
It’s been a very busy time here in Burundi. The Church members here are thrilled to have received a visit from our Church president. Several stated that this visit has helped them to be sure they’re part of a larger spiritual body together with others they have not yet met.
I should be heading to the airport later tonight about 23:00. Everyone agrees the security situation has much improved to the point where a late-night run to the airport no longer presents any concerns. Mr. Franks should leave Burundi Monday morning early to begin his trip back home via South Africa. I’ve traveled with him before and had no doubts, but I would still like to offer my sincere thanks to him for adding Rwanda and Burundi to his schedule and for the sincere and warm brotherhood he showed while traveling here.
If all goes as planned I’ll post a blog from Nairobi tomorrow.