We are in the process of learning the meaning of Sabbath, to take a day of rest as a form of worship to God.
Typically, we start the morning with Johnson Swedish pancakes or Nana Johnson's bake ahead french toast (thanks to the recipe collection from Karla and Heather). We then gather on our one carpeted area to listen to a sermon while the kids do puzzles or look at books.
When the drums can be heard, we make the short walk to the community center to join believers at New Life Presbyterian for a morning of worship songs (in Lebwisi and Rotoru, the neighboring language), a report regarding last week's giving, greeting of our neighbors, more singing, preaching in both Lebwisi and English, more singing, an auction of the fruits and vegetables that were brought as a tithe and then a benediction prayer and song.
Our little ones, who are used to heading off to Sunday School for lessons geared towards children, sit on the short wooden bench with us for the duration of the two to three hour service. Patton beats his little drum and Lilli shakes her African maraca in worship to songs that they are beginning to learn. They then look at Bible story picture books. This Sunday, it made my heart soar to see Lilli and her neighbor friend Gloria snuggled together looking at a book as Lilli whispered to Gloria the creation story. Even Aidan is an intricate part of the community of worshippers. As we walked around the room during the greeting song, he sat in his infant car seat. When we came back to him, he had a long line of children that were waiting to shake his hand!
The afternoon has become our coveted family rest time. I love the opportunity to nap with the kids while Travis heads out for a long mountain bike ride. He always returns covered in mud head to toe! The neighbor children love to help him wash his bike afterwards...any excuse to get wet and cool down in the heat.
As it seems that Sunday afternoons are prime visiting hours, we are greeted by many new friends. One neighbor even showed Lilli how to climb the cocoa tree in our yard to collect cocoa pods. The last thing she asked before she went to bed last night was, "do you think I can climb that tree and collect more cocoa in the morning?!"
The sweetest time of the day is when the children are safely tucked into their mosquito nets on their bunks and we read the "Wilderking" series to them. They relate to Aidan, the Wilderking who is on a wild quest in an unknown jungle. And it does our hearts good to see them identifying with a young adventurer who is committed to following and obeying his one true God.