This is audio and a short video of Mpare welcoming Joseph and I. They met us on the road, waving leafy branches and singing. Evangelist Rombo translated the first song, which rejoices that our guests have arrived.
They led us back to the church building and adorned us with necklaces of flowers. (Kirangare, by the way, means "beautiful flower.") Then we went to the office to sign the guest book.
Everywhere we go, we sign a guest book.
Kirangare Lutheran Parish includes four Preaching Points: Kirangare, the center; Idaru; Mirindi; and Mpare. Makasa Lutheran Parish includes three. Pastor Fue serves what we would call seven congregations!He does this with the help of five evangelists. One handles administration and four preach. Two of these four preach in two Preaching Points each. Evangelist Rombo, for example, preaches at Idaru and Mpare. In seven weeks, Pastor Fue can complete a circuit, preaching and presiding at each Preaching Point. When he's not there, an evangelist preaches, but worship does not include communion.
We entered the sanctuary singing and dancing.
Evangelist Rombo looks quite serious here beside Pastor Fue but he is in fact very playful and mischievous.
Here is Evangelist Rombo's welcome. He speaks in Swahili. A young man named Simon Simon translates into English.
Then Pastor Fue greeted us.
Then we greeted Mpare and gave our gift.
Then Jasper John, the chair of the Companionship Committee greeted us. Then the choir sang.
Then Evangelist Rombo greeted us again and have us gifts, necklaces made by people of Mpare. Then, led by the choir, we sang and danced.
Video is too much to upload with the connection we have. But I trust this audio gives you a sense of the joy we are giving and receiving simply by being here. To me, the people of Kirangare's love has been a sign of how God loves. Just being is enough.