Sianithanda - "We love you!"

Above: This is the congregation we worshiped with at j.y. hliso. When they meet someone new they say, "shine" (like stars). That is what they are saying to you!

What a morning! We were honored guests at the worship service at the jy hliso presbyterian church.

Trying to convey this experience with words is impossible. It was a rededication service for the women's fellowship and a service of holy communion. All in all, it was three hours long. But, for me, it could have gone on all afternoon.

The music and movement was infectious. There is something very right about taking our worship to our arms, legs, and shoulders when we sing. If we confine our worship movement to our heads and lips in the service, don't we risk it staying trapped there when we leave the walls of the church building?

The amount of sound that came from those pews...was striking. These were the songs of their lives...they didn't just sing them, they birthed them.

They asked me to bring greetings as part of the service (like a minute for mission). I shared a new xhosa word (for me!) with them sianithanda. Which means "we love you". That is the heart of this partnership - a common love and longing to be together.

Serving communion to this congregation will forever be a ministry highlight for me. There were so many people (and so few cups) that the elders had to continually bring back the cups so that i could refill them. Can you see me trying to fill all those little cups with a standard pitcher? Pictures later.

After worship we were treated to a gorgeous lunch and time of fellowship. We gave umfundis Notsche (umfundis is what xhosas call their minister) an rccpc shirt and mamfundis (his wife) an apron and a scarf. They were very grateful. In fact, umfundis said, "please go back to the usa and tell the women to keep giving birth so there will be more people like you!"

I hope your Sunday is beautiful. Thanks for your continued prayers. Sianithanda!

 

See all trip updates 'blog style'

 

2011-03-13_05-51-28
Our friend Unathi mlisa receives a special award for community service.

 

2011-03-13_08-27-15
Max is getting ready to preach.

 

2011-03-13_08-23-14
The group at j.y. hliso church.

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