I guess my sermon today went well. If you were to ask me I would say it was ok, but sure nothing write home about, or even blog about. Of course everyone was nice and said I did a good job. The kids all thought it was good, so maybe I am not the best judge of my own work.
The whole experience was very interesting - from the robes, to the processional, to the liturgy - and the music is very different from what I have experienced in the past and that is a good thing. I am learning a lot about the Anglican Church in Rwanda and it is an experience that I will remember the rest of my life. Since the scripture was set, I had to develop a sermon based on Psalm 116. While this might not have been a problem for seasoned preachers, it presented me with several challenges. These challenges included culture, language, and denominational differences. The denominational thing did not bother me and I think I handled that aspect well. The culture and language were different matters all together. While this was an "English" service, most of those attending were not fluent, so I am sure that my brand of Tennessee English left some wondering what I was saying!
There was one point during the service that gave me a bid of a jolt. I was prepared to speak about 15 minutes because that is about as long as I can speak at a single stretch, and because I thought that is about as long as anyone would want to hear me speak. The pastor walked over to me during the hymn before the sermon and told me I should speak for 25 minutes. I looked at him and ask if 15 would be ok and his response was that it should be longer. Well this was some what of a shock and the only thing I could think of at the moment was that my slow southern speech would have to get slower. I was able to stretch it out to a compromise of 20 minutes by going into a little more background on the scripture itself, but if I am asked back next time I will know better.
Overall it was a great experience and I will do it again if asked. If they do ask, and I am not sure they will, I hope that I get to pick the scripture. It sure would make coming up with a 25 minute sermon easier.
I have a lot to this week. Work on the chicken houses is progressing and I am finishing the design on the water well, piping, and storage at Sonrise School. I have also stated looking for somewhere to buy the materials we will need for the well. At this point I am not sure when my next blog update will be, but at the moment I am shooting for Wednesday.
I want to say a special thank you to everyone who is praying for me and my work in Rwanda.
Isaiah 58:12 - Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.