We were greeted by a group of about 70 people of Kirangare, including the Companionship Committee. They sang and waved branches and purple flowers and surrounded the car as we drive straight to the church building. With singing, they brought us inside.
They made a path for us through the congregation and ushered us to seats of honor near the front and off to the side.
Pastor Fue prayed and greeted us officially. He said how eager the community was for us to arrive, calling and texting him along the way, "Where are you now?"
He said this is just a part of the community and Sunday they will all gather. Then I, Pastor Clark, will greet everyone fully but for now, would I share a short greeting. I did and so did Joseph. They clapped and cheered as Pastor Fue translated our English into Swahili.
I didn't take any photos of all of this because I was at the center of it. But Joseph took photos and video. I just have one video of the song the choir sang for us.
Then the congregation accompanied us with singing to the place where we would stay. It's actually the village parsonage. But Pastor Fue is from Kirangare, born and raised, and he stays in his mother's house. The now call this the Church Rest House. The congregation carried our bags inside, while singing.
We had tea with the Committee, which was essentially the fourth of five meals on the day.
Here are the members of the Zion-Kirangare Companionship Committee. From left to right: Evangelist Wilson Tumaini, Pastor Fue, Twazera Kisaka, the Committee Chairperson Jasper John, Committee Secretary Nimwindie Tumaini, Ernest Peter, and Asifiwe Simon, who is pictured but was not able to join us then.
A man from Makasa Lutheran Church had tea with us too. Makasa is very close, just over the ridge, and they also are very excited for our visit. We visit Mkasa tomorrow, after we visit the Zion Day Care in Kirangare.
Two young women, Sara and Rachel, serve us. They prepared tea and dinner for us. They heated water for us to "shower," basically a sponge bath from a bucket.
After this, maybe 9pm, they returned to their families. Soon after 5am, they came back to start preparing a fire, cleaning the bathroom and scrubbing all the floors, making breakfast and heating more water for showers.
When Pastor Fue introduced us, they said in Swahili he translated that they were very happy to serve us. They said so at least three times.
On our first morning, Sara was called away to care for her two year old daughter, Catherine. She met another woman who had Catherine near the day care which is behind the church building. Hey daughter was crying and crying. Sara took her child and they went inside.
Sara and Rachel are working hard to honor us and to care for their families.