Thurs: Wedding rehearsal Fri: Last Day of UB

Friday, April 26, 2019
Blantyre, Southern Region, Malawi
Bev and I enjoyed a casual morning at the Jolly Green Giant. We had time for reading and some writing. We have Internet from a dongle. The TV in our room is inoperable. So, we have each other and the Internet this AM. 
The church grounds is teeming with people preparing for the two coming Sabbaths and the meals to be served. Chickens are being slaughtered within earshot. We hear the horrified shrieks of the victims… that will become our meals. 
Then we spent the afternoon was spent with the Ringo/Somba wedding rehearsal at the Blantyre church building. We went throught the traditional wedding ceremony. The wedding ceremony is scheduled for 9:30 am Sunday. Again, it is considered a kind of “optional” requirement for the wedding guests and a few told us for sure that they will not be able to get there for that event.  But… the big event is the reception and all that goes with it. The dances, the food… all of that.
In talking with Daniel and Carolyn, they were wondering about the processional music. We told them about the tradition we have at home with the music to “Here Comes the Bride. ” Carol liked the idea.  I went up to YouTube and pulled down a video version that had a lot of trumpets, then converted it to an mp3.  So, now we will have a processional with the attendants, the flower girl, ring-bearer and then: “Here Comes the Bride!” 
After we went through the ceremony the group was practicing the dances for the dance. It was fun to see their moves. Africa has a certain movement that we just don’t have—it was interesting to watch!
Then we went back to our Jolly Green Giant Lodge. We ordered dinner on the abbreviated memo and told them to contact us when it was ready. We did enjoy being together. Since they did get a dongle with WiFi / Internet, we finally had some reliable Internet. I was able to get the eNews to Chris Rowland that I had given up on earlier. Yeah!  
Friday, Last Day of Unleavened Bread
Church is scheduled for 10:30 am. We asked Daniel Ringo to come for us at 9:45 am. We are leery of the 10:30 starting time. And, we were right. In Lilongwe they had the starting time down. But, here, it’s still African time. 10:30 am came and went. They watch a Beyond Today television program before services. And, they did get that going at 10:30 am. 
The brethren here really appreciate the Beyond Today magazine and the television program very much. They speak with respect and gratitude and for what they learn. Today’s showing was Steve Myers “Which Commandments Must Christians Keep.”  Well done. Greatly appreciated. The church here was able to get a big screen TV that they had hung behind the main curtain on the stage. The ceiling here is 4 meters or almost 13 feet high. The curtain looks impressive. It is a pleasing brown shade. They also put curtains on the windows. This was a project initiated by the congregation.
Then services got started shortly after 11:00 am. With the offering sermonette, which was well-delivered by Ken Maere from the Mulanje area and the three beautiful pieces of special music, this took us to about 12 noon. The final piece of music was “As the Deer” by the Blantyre choir.
My sermon was the overview of the Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread. Afterwards, there was fellowship. The Blantyre church has a familiar feel and I feel like the local pastor talking to people that I mostly know to one degree to another.
Then, the dinner. It was buffet-style with the young adults, both men and women serving it. It was well-coordinated and nicely served. There was nsima, rice, chicken (that had been alive the day previously), beans, salad and unleavened bread. The amount of nsima put on the plates was massive. I like nsima… and asked for only a quarter of the amount piled on to others.
Then we sat around and ate and fellowshipped. 
The women then gathered with Loney Mpilangwe to talk about matters for the next two days.  Gracious and Loney run a tight ship… with committees doing their jobs well. We like what we see.
The assembly hall is very comfortable. The 13 foot ceiling and open windows allows for good movement of air.  The rooms felt “air-conditioned.”
Then Dan and Carol brought us back to our lodge. We had such a big lunch that we skipped dinner and instead Bev and I discussed the text for the Grace booklet which is one of my top of mind projects. 
Our Internet data ran out. Here, you buy Internet data connectivity by the Gigabyte. We obviously used up what was on the dongle. The guests here pass the dongle around or follow each other for connectivity. We’re all in Internet silence…
So ended the day.  I discussed sermon topics for Sabbath of April 27 with Gracious. We agreed to the subject of Grace. Good!
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Comments

Renee
2019-04-27

Thanks for sharing.

Mary
2019-04-27

Thank you for sharing . Our greetings to the brethren.

2019-07-19