This morning Isaac, Matt & I decided to attend Sunday morning service at the Congolese church that hosted the day camp. We were told that the service started at 11:30, but when we arrived at that time, the worship was halfway done. Oops. It was very lively- lots of dancing, beautiful singing, and it made me feel more alive to worship Jesus with this new culture. There are so many scriptures that say, "let the nations worship God." So to travel to different nations around the world, and worship the same God is truly an incredible thing.
The Congolese people speak French, and so the service was in French but translated into English. Out of the 3 of us, Isaac understood the most, as his native language is Spanish and there are quite a few similarities between French & Spanish. Although there was tranlsation into English, I barely understood the translator with his accent. So we clapped when everyone clapped, and stood up when we saw others stand, and tried to listen intently throughout the sermon.
The most awkward part of the service was the time to give tithes and offerings. This part of the speaking, I did understand. They told how much everyone was to give, and said that for visitors there was a minimum of 50 Rand. (About 5 dollars) None of us had brought any money with us- just our Bibles. I figured that we would just pass over the basket when it came to us, and no one would notice, but the basket wasn't passed. The ushers came to each row, and guided the people to stand up and go forward to give their offerings. Row by row, people would stand up to give. The 3 of us sat in the back, and I was dreading when the usher would come to us! I had various plans of what we could do- look down and act like we didn't know what was going on, or stand up and walk to the front and not give anything. When they came to our row, the 3 of us looked at each other, and then looked to the ground. We did not make eye contact with anyone as those in our row walked passed us to give. It was quite embarrassing, but no one said anything to us!