Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday Service

Most of the group decided to attend a local church service today. Well over 90% of Rwandans are Christians of one denomination or another and most of them seem to be actively practicing. By chance we arrived about half way through the first service, which was in English, which gave us an opportunity to sit and take in the sermon. The topic of the day was how to have a successful marriage, a practical guide rather than a spiritual one, more akin to a counseling session than a sermon. Advice such as how to communicate with your spouse, to make time to have fun with them and others seemed universal, just as relevant in the states as here.

But now and then, a little antidotes would make it clear we were still in Africa. "Sit next to your wife at events, do not make her sit in back while you go to the front" .. or .. "Drive in the same car as your wife" were reminders that some in Rwanda are still struggling with their older ways. It was nice to see the church taking an active roll in changing the family life and values, and by the looks of it the congregation was engaged throughout, listening intently.

After the English service came to a close we decided to stay a bit longer for the beginning of the next Kinyarwanda service, mostly to catch some of the music. The church quickly began to fill, and soon it was alive with clapping and singing to various devotional songs. Some of us did our best to sing along, as the words were being projected and the music infectious. This I think was appreciated by the locals as we got many smiles over our excited clapping and butchered singing.

In other news after our experience yesterday at the Batwa village I decided I should probably polish my shoes. My Merills have been with me for quite a few years, even resoled once, but the toes were now more blue than black. A quick trip to the store and some elbow grease fixed that and I'll hopefully now be less of an embarrassment to the locals.


  1. Ya, pretty crazy. This was actually a pretty well to do church by the looks of it too, so I fear they might even be more open minded than most.