Monday, July 28, 2008

First sermon

Daryl had the opportunity this past Sunday to preach the sermon. The preparation was quite different compared to the times he has preached back home. Since there are no resources here, he didn’t have weeks of reading to do on the topic even if he wanted. He also had to choose fairly basic language and themes as we have noticed the depth of the sermons to be limited. He also, of course has never preached using a translator before. Thankfully he had a really great translator, Anton, whose English is quite good and we feel reasonable confident that not too much got lost in translation.

Daryl shared on Matthew 11:28-30 which reads:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

The sermon was well received, so much so that after he sat down again there was a significant period of time when the elders were speaking and motioning to Daryl and the group of us missionaries (we try to hide in the back but hiding is difficult when we stand out like sore thumbs!). Part of their response was that he would have to begin preparing his next sermon now because they want him to share again very soon. One thing that we are finding is there is some tension because the missionaries that are coming through now are no longer “church missionaries”, where they are only here to serve the church. Now we come with part/full time jobs and fit ministry into many areas of life, so there is still some expectation of our time and commitment from the elders of the church. Just one of the many things we are working through.

All in all we all felt very encouraged and it reminded us what a privilege it is to be here. The service was also only 3 hours not 5, of which Daryl’s sermon was only 30 minutes so we all had much more energy after a Sunday morning then usual!

One side note that cracks me up about church is how the secretary goes up to the front at the start of the service and says “good morning” and then lists a long string of announcements. Then toward the end of the service he comes up again and now says good afternoon (because it has been many hours) and lists the same set of announcements again! We have also heard the same announcements for weeks now, for example, I know that there is a women’s conference at the end of October that they have announced every week (twice a week) since we have been here, and we will here it every week until it happens. So funny!

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