It is good to be back early today to St. Philip’s Theological College. We only had a 15 minute drive to church, which made a big difference, although even a short journey was very bumpy. But it is now 2.45pm, and we have nothing else planned in for the day so our first chance to relax and maybe have a dose after a long morning.
We were up at 6.00am and ready to leave at 7.00, and surprisingly for Tanzania were gone by 7.15!
We were going to church in the nearby town of Kongwa, St. Michael ‘ s Church. A few years back they built a very English looking church of stone, but money promised from a church in UK never materialised, and so it has been without a roof ever since. They therefore still worship in their old building, but have this monument to having been let down right beside it.
The first service started on time (nearly) and was packed full. There were two choirs who sang accompanied by electric guitars, and I preached from Genesis 33, the story of Jacob returning to his brother Esau after many years. We had communion, and I was asked to administer the bread (actually wafers!), because I was robed, yes in that heat. The service lasted 2 hours, and then a short break with a cup of tea and chapati, before starting the second service at 10.15 for another 2 hours.
Stephen spoke at this one from 1 John 4 and John 15 on a God who loves us, and prayed for a group of people who wanted healing. Again communion, and the usual greetings, telling the congregation who we are and thank yous at the end. And then they provided lunch – meat or fish, rice and chips, followed by a banana. Bottles of cold coca cola or seven up are always welcome, as are the bottles of water they keep giving us. It is a very hot day today.
And now back at St. Philip’s. Tomorrow a working breakfast meeting the principle of the Theological College and talking about the CCMP process, and the possibility of the college becoming a CCMP Training centre for other pastors. And then we set off to Dar on the start of our journey home. It’s a 7 hour drive – good to have drivers to take us everywhere, especially with the state of the roads/mud tracks – but then we are booked into a hotel on the sea shore, funnily enough called the Hotel Mediterraneo although it is on the Indian Ocean, and will have about 24 hours before our flight sets off on Tuesday evening. Some debriefing during this time, but also hopefully time to relax.
I hope to send all the latest blogs from there, but if not they will have to wait until we are back in the UK.
Thinking of you having refreshments now at the end of church, and praying that you have had a good morning. See you all next Sunday.