Sunday Morning Worship. We went to the Africa Inland Church, Kijabe, this morning. There is so much to tell about the service, which was unusual for this church, because it was a combined Kikuyu/English service. Usually there are two services, one in English at 830 and the other in Kikuyu at 1030. This was at 10:00 because there are elections to be held today for the ruling board. There were many parts of this experience. I took notes and I will put some posts up about it. I thought how much Doug and Sue, Mike and Mickey would have liked it.
It was a dignified service. The Kikuyu are earnest people and the AIM people through whom God gave them Christ are a good match for them. So the adults were quiet - there was none of the back and forth we see in the African-American services. The men sat mostly with the men, and the women with the women and children. I estimated there to be over 600 hundred men, women, and children there. What I would call the "regular" part of the service lasted two hours or so. Following it, however, the church was to serve "holy communion". After that the elections were to be held. We would have stayed, but we had been identified as visitors and during the break between the regular service and the communion service, the usher nearest us asked us to follow her to a place where visitors were welcomed with tea. So out we went. The lady was quite firm!
It was an admirable service, and the chilren's part was no exception, The children sat with their mothers and grandmothers, but there came a point where they were to leave for Sunday School, which is somewhat similar to our worship service. But there was no "children's sermon" that preceded their dismissal, as in our service. Instead, the pastor asked the children to come to the front of the church so that someone could pray for them. Up to that point, men led the service, but here an older women was invited to come and pray, a "susha" or grandmother, and she offered up a prayer in Kikuyu for the children. I didn't understand what she was saying, but it clearly came from the heart. As the children were led out, the congregation sang, as in our service, but it was not "Jesus Loves the Little Children" and the congregation was not singing to the children. It was the pastor and the children who principally sang, and the congregation sang in support. The minister led the children in "I'm a Soldier in the Army of the Lord". He would sing first "I'm a Soldier" and the children and the adults supporting them would sing "in the army of the Lord."