Sunday, October 12, 2008

Man of the year service...

Today we decided to go to a church in Wellington that is attended by a few of our employees. Little did we know, when we planned this outing that today was also the ‘Man of the Year’ service. Once we found that out we knew we were in for a long day. We left our house at 915 assuming we would probably reach the church just after they started at around 1015. Well, much to our surprise, the land cruiser wouldn’t start, so we ended up taking my friend Vez’ car. No problem. We were a little scrunched up in her land rover but it only added to the adventure. We then picked up our 6 year old friend Joshua on the way and headed to the east of town. Traffic was worse than expected so we didn’t make it to the church until 1100, having encountered a couple of wrong turns as well. However, not to fear, of course the service hadn’t started yet!

When we drove up to the church we met many people outside the gate who, as we approached, all made way for us to enter the compound yelling ‘mercy ships’. They were quick to come to us with ribbons- colored according to the group we were supporting, at the price of Le 1000 each of course (=30 cents). We were pinned with pink ribbons, showing that we were supporting group A. The group A candidate is one of the employees out at New Steps, which is why we were in that group. We soon found out that the aim of the service was to raise money for the church. How? Well, it was a competition between the two teams. Whoever raises the most money wins and their candidate becomes man of the year. Interesting concept and an interesting service it was.

The service focused on this whole ‘Man of the Year’ competition. There was some worship to start off with, and a short sermon based on the fact that we are all winners, and that we need to remember we are raising money for the church etc. Pretty soon, the rallying began. It’s hard to describe the rallies. It really was a bit crazy but a true African experience. Group A would get a turn to raise money and then group B would get a turn. A lot of singing, people coming up for each candidate with money, a string of people going forward putting money in a basket for one group, followed by a string of people going up to give money to the other group, pinning ribbons (pink or blue) on the candidates shirts, etc. For us this meant going forward at 4 different times putting money in a basket, 3 hours of sitting in a church pew, listening to loud music, playing with the kids in the row behind us, and in the end leaving the service at 2pm, after a good 3 hours and just before they announced the final results. It was just taking a bit too long. All in all though, it was fun, and the church did raise a lot of money.

We then had to make our way back to traffic. We were delayed a bit longer when we were pulled over by the police due to an expired insurance sticker on the windshield. (oops- it was renewed last Friday, but the sticker hadn’t been stuck yet). We stopped at a small cafĂ© to enjoy some lunch (at 4pm by this time) and then made our way home, dropping off a few people along the way. We made it home just before 6pm. Ready for a relaxing evening...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A long but wonderul great day and a good memory to ad to our many previous memories made in this country
Mama / Marianne

~ Act Justly. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly. micah 6:8 ~