When Tezera's story was over, it was time to go to church. The church was not far so it was neat to be able to walk the streets in Tezera's neighborhood. As you can imagine, we were a sight for everyone to see! The roads in Adama are just as bad as in Addis . . . large rocks that are not level and tiny rubble. We wonder how many sprained ankles happen in one day here. Thankfully, none of us has fallen . . . at least not too badly!
When we approached the church, we could hear singing . . . loud singing! People were shouting "Halleluiah!" You could feel the energy coming out of the place! We were ushered into the front rows and quickly took our seats. There were approximately 500 people at church this morning. There really aren't walls; it is simply the sides of the buildings next door. The rafters were made of wood and the ceiling was made of scrap metal. There are gaps where the scrap metal does not meet the walls so there are holes in the ceiling but if it were raining, the rain would be contained to the edges of the worship space. The stage is the only permanent structure in the church; it is made of cement and has 5 steps leading to the stage. The stage has a cover made of wood that is painted white. The back of the stage is covered in white fabric and adorned with blue fabric that goes about 1/3 of the way down from the ceiling. Plastic white flowers and green, flashing lights (Christmas light style) hang from the blue fabric. There is no cross hanging on the wall but there is one on the podium.
When we made it to our seats, the prayer leader was leading the congregation in song. Soon after that, the choir (15 woman and men) came on stage and sang some amazing songs! We were later told the songs were about Job, his life and struggles. The choir members were so joyful in the singing! Their faces radiated with the joy of the Lord! There was no band but there was a tract and a young man playing keyboard. The music was simply remarkable! (And the base was shaking the rafters!)
When the choir returned to their seats, the pastor invited Mark, Andrea, Tim and Rick up on stage. Andrea and Tim represented the team while Rick said the verse John 3:16 in Amharic by heart! The congregation applauded when he finished!
After the team members returned to their seats, Tezera offered to translate the sermon to Brita so she could write it in her journal. The sermon was about the Will of God and how blessed one will be if they follow and live in the Will of God. Now that is something to contemplate while on a Mission Trip in Ethiopia!
Life is too short and the planet is too big to stay in one place too long!