Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fall in Makalondi

A few signs of Fall in Makalondi are Pumpkins, with the carving, cooking and freezing...

...and Saturday Evening Football on the weekends. (All over Africa, 'football' is the term for Soccer.)

A New Kitchen Wall

I am getting a new kitchen wall!!! I know that sounds a bit boring to be excited about, but if your kitchen wall were cracked and getting ready to cave in, and you were getting a new wall, you'd be excited too! Our home is made out of mud bricks covered in cement. Over time the sand beneath our home has settled more and more, the fierce rainstorms have pounded the thin layer of concrete, and the extreme heat temperatures have caused the walls to expand and contract. Under these conditions, the back corner of our home is separating and the open cracks have allowed the rains of this past summer to further erode the walls. As it stands now, the back doors of our home no longer will shut, so critters can more easily slip in and we can never lock the house when we're away. Needless to say, I'm pretty excited that this past week, the mason and his workers began making new concrete bricks for the new wall.
In the next week or two, we will move our new refrigerator into our living room, cover up the stove and other cupboards, and hang a curtain between the kitchen door and the living room to keep out the demolition dust and dirt. The roof will be off and open. I'm not real excited about that phase of the project, but as soon as we get through that, I hope that they will quickly get the new bricks up and roof on. Then we'll hire the painter to come and paint my walls a nice ocean blue or teal. Helps the room to feel cooler...a trick of the mind. I'll be sure to update the progress and when it's all done, we'll post a picture of our renovated kitchen. Guess Gary won't get many cooked meals for awhile...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

How was your church service?

This past Sunday morning, I took my camera with me to church. I just had to try and get some pictures of our worship service because of our unique situation. The Makalondi church has been working on building a church for the past year. It hasn't been easy for them, and they've made some serious building mistakes, but it's THEIR building project...they have a vested interest in their house of worship.

(Gary and Janjua wait outside for church to begin)
Meanwhile we're meeting in a halfway finished mud brick house, probably about the size of your average kitchen (9 ft. x 28 ft.). It has 3 rooms, and the main room is where the worship time is conducted. Off of that narrow room, through 2 doorways, are two smaller rooms. All the children sit in the forward room on mats, and I sit in the back room doorway in my fold out chair (I have to have a back support for my finicky back). As more and more people try to cram into the building, more and more people get pushed into the adjacent rooms or back out the front door. This house, by the way, only has 4 small windows, so you can imagine how hot those rooms become as the sun shine brightly on the tin roof and temperatures rise into the 1oo’s! When it comes time for the choral groups to sing, the stick podium and our drums have to be carried out the door, so that the group will have room to stand in front of the believers. When a baby starts to cry, the mother has to climb over 7 or 8 other mothers to try and get out…and then she loses her place.

You may wonder that any of us, especially the national believers, would even come back Sunday after Sunday. But to most of them, this is the highlight of their week… the time when they can be with their spiritual family, they can sing their praise songs together and they can hear God’s Word read and talked about. To a highly illiterate people, this is crucial to their faith.

So last Sunday, there was a meeting after the service to discuss how we could complete our church building, and soon! After a lot of discussion, it was decided that since they have had a fairly decent harvest this year, every man will sell enough grain to be able to contribute $10.00 to the building fund. Women will bring $6.00 and those with children are to bring an offering in each one’s name. Now how’s that for deciding where the money will come from? So it was agreed upon and we are all to bring our offering by the end of November.

Hopefully within a short amount of time, I’ll be able to post some pictures of our new church building in use. Maybe we’ll be in it by Christmas….

So You Think Your Choir Can Sing!