McClenahens to Mozambique
"…That they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10

A New Song

September 26, 2015 by rkmcclenahen

During our time here in Pakiti, I’ve been able to attend several weddings. I remember showing up at the first one I was invited to, being taken to a seat of honor, and just watching, and participating some, in such a joy-filled, very Mwani celebration among a close community of family and friends. All the women tried to dress in matching clothing- skirts and head wraps- and periodically different small groups among the 300 or so guests would stand up and sing and dance together, songs that everyone knew, and that are traditionally sung at every such celebration. And my thought was, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was someday a group of Mwani believers, gathering and worshipping in a much similar way?”

I am thankful to be able to say that there are now several believers, some of which have been able to meet together a few times to study God’s Word, and I am so thankful to see this with my own eyes and to be able to sing songs of praise along with them, in their own language, to our Mighty and Wonderful Father! Two days from now will be our 3rd meeting of the “Jamati”, or Family of God, here in Pakiti. For the most part, we and our teammates are trying to delegate the leadership of these meetings to a long-time believer called Mr. Shakito. He has done well- teaching the first meeting about what is the Family of God? What do we do as the Family of God? Last week the believers learned about Holy Communion, “Jambo ra Kumbukumbu”, and all took part in remembering Jesus’ sacrifice for us. This week we wait to see what are Mr. Shakito’s ideas, and may also speak a bit about our call as disciples of Christ to fish for men, and have a time of practice telling the gospel story.

Of course, our group of “Followers of Christ”, “Wafulati wa Insa”, does spend time at each of these group meetings singing to God. However, my favorite time of witnessing worship was at a totally different event we hosted last weekend. The women on our team, Bronwen, Me, and Grace, gave a health seminar last Saturday afternoon just for some of our women friends, focusing on how to stay healthy in a place where sickness is so prevalent. On the list of topics to discuss were: washing hands- how and when, USING SOAP (at the price of about 10 cents most people would say they “can’t afford” soap, even though they spend the same amount regularly on sweets for their kids), how to prepare fruits and vegetables, boiling or purifying water before drinking it, and several other topics. This seminar, again, was for our friends, not necessarily all believers. (In fact there were just a couple believers that showed up.) However, at the end of our presentation, after giving out a snack of cake and juice, and also giving away soap bars, detergent and water purifying drops, one friend (a believer) began singing some of our praise songs. AND EVERYONE ELSE JOINED IN! They sang about “a person without love does not know God, because God is love”, and also “I will never leave Jesus”! As many of the people were neighbors of ours, they knew the songs, even though they do not follow Jesus. THIS has been my favorite experience of seeing Mwani people give thanks to God! The women were so happy- dancing spontaneously and smiling from ear to ear! And even though they do not all yet know Jesus, hearing the words of praise pour from their mouths in their own language was SO beautiful, and so worth it.

Our journey has been long and hard. But our King is worth it all. And so are His children.001

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