Hi family and friends,
How time flies when your having fun serving the Lord! Our last two church services were memorable, to say the least. Sunday service was held at St Augustine's in Brazzaville. The church service was traditional with President Mavoungou and Vice President in full robes and the church was overflowing. So far I can say, from the different places we have lived, no people praise the Lord quite like the people in the Congo. The love for Jesus pours out of there very being! The service began at 9:30 AM and ended about 1:30 PM but there is so much joy, one losses track of the time and you find yourself worshiping with pure pleasure.
We presented gifts to Pastors, Vicars and leaders of the church as well as the leaders of the womens group. They in turn presented us with lovely outfits. I must say its quite different being redressed in front of the church while the whole congregation looks on in great laughter! After service we were guests of the Vice President and his wife in there home. The ladies cooked a wonderful meal and we had a great time in fellowship. I have to take a minute to inject a note about the meal. When we talk about a great meal often times these meals were cooked out side over open coals. They cook all morning because they do not have the modern appliances we do. We were so appreciative of time and efforts.
Monday was probably the most relaxing "fun" day of our whole trip. We rode the "song bus" appropriately named by Scott because it was full of singing, including drums and all. Pastor Mavoungou and members of his church joined the team and we rode in a very full bus to Impani, about 45 km north of Brazzaville. There we were greeted, like always, with great such joy and lots of singing. The service was shorter then most but not lacking in praising God. Matthew gave a wonderful message, Scott and I gave our testimonies, and the team did the puppet skit. The most fun was when we sang our "silly" song! Everyone got into it, and I mean everyone: Pastor's, Vicars, heads of the church all the way down the line to the smallest of children! We have great pictures for you to see. Oh the joy and laughter! After service we had a B.B.Q picnic under a spacious tree for shade. Fresh French bread, smoked sausages, fresh veggies, and drinks. Later on, even chocolate ice cream bars! The ride back was relaxing while watching the beautiful country side, and listening to the youth sing there beautiful songs. Matthew and I hope to have one of the songs ready to sing in church. It was a perfect day.
President Mavoungou, who we affectionately call PaPa, is truly a Church Man in every sense of the meaning. His love for the Lord and his people is evident in all he says and does. He is a most humble man, full of compassion and love for all of God's people. He certainly went out of his way to keep us safe, happy,and to please us in so many ways. Always thoughtful and kind. I cannot say enough good things about this man of God. Continue to pray for him and the enormous job he has.
We thank God for the opportunity to go on this trip, for the team He put together, for His beautiful people we met, our safe travels, good health and the chance to encourage His people in the Congo. God is definitely good --all the time!
In His Love,