While in Mbarara, we have been staying in the guesthouse on Rev. John’s property.
The first year I came here, there was running water but no hot water at the Inspiration Center, the building we stayed in while in Kamwenge. Last year, hot water had made it to most of the rooms so we were able to take hot showers. There is running water at the guesthouse but no hot water so it’s back to cold showers for three days.
We accompanied Rev. John to All Saint’s Church this morning for the 8 am service, which is in English. About thirty minutes prior to the service, the choir leads the congregation in singing, dancing, and clapping. We would describe it as a Praise service. The choir is very energetic and gets everyone moving. They have three services each Sunday and each one is packed. They are outgrowing their building and so have set up outside seating to accommodate everyone. They are in the process of constructing a new, larger building.
The service lasted about 1½ hours and at the end, people were invited to bring forward material gifts they had brought as an offering. Someone brought up matoke (bananas), another had a bag of pineapples, there were wrapped gifts, a purse, someone offered a watch, then there was a cake, followed by a sink (yes, a sink from a local businessman]and when I thought I’d seen the last of the unusual, up walked someone with a goat, no kidding a GOAT.
I wondered, what in the world were they going to do with all this, especially the goat? The next thing I knew, one of the pastors began to auction off the items! Going once, going twice, going three times… This is common practice in the services here, a way to raise additional money. Can’t quite see a goat in the sanctuary at FPC but maybe I should talk to the stewardship team!