Sundays in Burundi are l-o-o-o-o-n-n-n-g-g-g- days. We usually are up early, rushing to get a shower before the water runs out. Then we rush through breakfast, reviewing last minute teaching notes, spraying on sunblock, bug spray, stashing extra bottles of water in our backpacks. Then, the phone will ring, "hello, how are you?" "are you ready?" "I am Domitien." "I am here." Yesterday, Pastor Domitien borrowed a car from a friend so we rode in STYLE in a Rav4 instead of a marignally maintained taxi. After an extended time of worship, prayers, choirs, introductions, it was time for the guest speakers. Dan, Larissa and Marina, in that order.
Larissa shared her testimony which was punctuated by cheering throughout. The church loved/s her! She is getting more confident at sharing her story. I am really proud of her for being vulnerable and willing to tell about her struggles, victories, journey she is on.
Meanwhile, I'm still sweating. Shirt is sticking to my back. Is it possible that even my knees are sweating? I was left with 10 short minutes to teach about self-control/strongholds, which is also a weighty topic. When the microphone started slipping out of my sweaty hand, I wrapped it up. Whew. Made it through another Sunday.
Back at church at 3pm for a women's conference. When I helped the women's ministry team plan the conference, they thought that 30-50 women might attend the event. We planned to have plenty of room to move chairs into circles for small group interaction. Planned to have a good Q&A session at the end. Well, when we walked into the church and saw over 100 women, I realized that we were going to have to be flexible and go with the flow!
I began in Proverbs 31:10-12 and spoke to the women about what it looks like to be a woman of worth, like a diamond or precious jewel. We may not be perfectly faceted or brilliantly sparkly yet, but God has chosen us to be women, given us a specific role, and is using all circumstances in our lives to refine us, shape us, polish us into beautiful women of great worth. I also went through Titus 2:1-5 and talked about the 7 things that are "good" that we are to be teaching younger women. Larissa also shared a personal testimony about forgiveness which really struck home with all the women. All in all, it was a wonderful afternoon of worship and the Word.
Then it was time to distribute the dresses we were given by Dress A Girl Around The World! We had nearly 150 little girls, infants through age 12 who stood in line to receive one of the handmade dresses. It was rather chaotic in spite of our best efforts to stay organized. The power went out twice which made it really difficult to reign in the chaos. Eventually, every girl who needed a dress, was given a dress. To those of you who sew dresses for "Dress A Girl" thank you, thank you, thank you! You brought beautiful smiles to the faces of these Burundian girls!!