Joseph’s church is not big and fancy. They meet in a room in the school, where they add a few things to the basic concrete floor and cinder block walls to make it look a little nicer. A music stand serves as the pulpit; adults sit in chairs and children on benches. There are ceiling fans and open windows, but it is still hot, even at mid-morning.
But the people have come ready to praise God and be fed from the word. Their praise is enthusiastic and joyful. They sing. They clap. They dance. The worship band plays while different people come up and sing – one person, a husband and wife, children – and through all of it the congregation’s joy and enthusiasm never wavers.
By and large these people don’t have a tenth of what the average worshiper in America has, but they seem ten times as grateful for what they do have. And there is no doubt in their minds about Who has provided it.
I was honored to preach to them. I talked about the kingdom, about identity, and about impartation. Then we prayed for all of them, with sweat stinging my eyes and rolling off my nose. God spoke to His people this day, and I am so glad I got to be a part of it.
After the service they served everyone a meal. A bowl of rice with some cabbage and a piece of fish. The first real African meal we’ve had here. Joseph has been very protective of our stomachs. He has traveled extensively and has experienced digestive issues himself, so he was always making sure the food we were eating was suitable. “It must be very hot” was his constant mantra, as it is during the cooling process that bacteria can proliferate.
To simplify Joseph’s life of taking us everywhere and to get us closer to downtown Ouagadougou, we checked out of our hotel and got a room at the Hotel Splendid. Not entirely a misnomer, but not exactly the Ritz, either. Tomorrow is our day to poke around the downtown area, doing some sightseeing and a little shopping. Then Joseph will come to pick us up, take us to the airport, and bid us adieu.
Wow, has it been a week already?