Today, church started at 10:30 am and ended at 5:30 pm.
As we celebrated the creation of the Semiliki Presbytery, the day was full of singing choirs (three women's and a child's), special musical presentations (including a rap), speaking, praying, more speaking, more praying, more singing, more teaching, and the culmination of a huge meal of rice, goat meat and sauce, beans, matooke, cabbage, and samba (greens).
Lilli, Patton, and Aidan did a great job sitting on a small wooden bench for the first two hours. But that is the most I can expect from little ones who cannot understand what is being said nor see what is going on in front of the church. So, we headed home for afternoon naps.
But, Travis was called upon to speak. First, he asked all of the children to stomp their feet. There was a great response. Then, he asked the women to stomp their feet. There were giggles and great stomping. Then he asked the men to stomp their feet. There was a strong sound. Then he asked everyone to stomp their feet. There was a deafening response! He then shared the verse in Isaiah 52:7 that reads "How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, Your God reigns!" Reflecting upon the fact that 20 years ago, there were very few feet in Bundibugyo bringing the good news of Jesus, the demonstration of all of these stomping feet is a great testimony to God's work in this area! And that is the job for all of us, to bring the good news of God's grace throughout these mountains. We are grateful for the missionaries that pioneered this area. We are mindful of their vision, their love for their neighbors, and the years spent in leadership and Bible training. We are now encouraged to see that these churches are led by Ugandans who are reaching out to their brothers and sisters in God's grace.
It was truly a day to celebrate.