If I have learned anything from the Moru community, it is how to mourn deeply and how to rejoice whole-heartedly. This week consisted of a lot of rejoicing!
Easter celebrations started on Palm Sunday. Justin preached (his first of 4 times preaching during this Easter week!) and did a great job explaining the history of why Jesus went into down on donkey and what that represented. Everyone brought palm branches to church and it was truly a celebration of the King and the hope of what was to come.
The next service was on Thursday. We had a Maundy Thursday celebration at someone's house. This was an amazing time! Justin preached again and then he and another pastor washed everyone's feet. After the foot washing, we had communion together. Never have I ever had such a HUGE portion at communion!!! Everyone was given a large roll to represent Jesus' body and an ENTIRE mug of kedi-kedi tea (which is made from hibiscus and has LOTS of sugar). The whole time I was eating the communion portion (which took a while!), I was thinking about how it represented my prayer for the beautiful Moru people I was surrounded by. I prayed that they would all daily partake in all that Jesus has to offer them- and that this would be enough to fully satisfy them, as the communion portions did. I prayed that God would overwhelm them with his abundant provision and that they would always walk away satisfied in Him.
|The communion rolls are on the table|
|Will drinking his portion of the communion "wine"|
The church gathering was on Good Friday. This was a little more somber of a service (as it should be). However, the Moru people are never fully somber, so there was still lots of singing and laughter. My favorite part of this service was that while Justin was preaching, the woman translating his English into Arabic got extremely emotional as he was describing what happened to Jesus. She is a very strong Christian, so she obviously knew this story well, but just hearing it spoken brought her to tears. This touched me deeply because it spoke to what my heart desired. I have felt very numb in this Easter season and the message has not been penetrating my heart as it should as a believer. Seeing her emotions reminded me of the weight of the story. It showed me what my heart should be feeling as I hear/ read about the brutal death of Christ. I was very touched by this and grateful for her vulnerability.
The last service was obviously on Easter Sunday. This service was 4 hours long and consisted of 4 pastors, 2 messages, communion, 4 dances/ songs from Children's Church, over 10 Moru songs and multiple prayers! It was amazing! Justin did an amazing job preaching this service (as he did with all of the messages this week!). He explained the history of what was predicted about the coming Messiah and did a great job explaining the power of God in the Easter story. The other man who spoke also did a good job explaining what Christ's death and resurrection means for us.
I was asked to read a passage in Mark in Moru during the Good Friday service. I practiced the 11 verses I was assigned, and then the night before, was told to add another section to the reading! Hehe. So I ended up reading around 20 verses completely in Moru! Mama Penina told me that I did so well that she wanted me to read again for the Sunday service.. haha! I didn't have as much time to practice this one, but still tried my best. It was fun to try and read in Moru. Everyone was grateful for the effort (and hopefully I didn't butcher the Word of the Lord too much... ;)).
It was so much fun to have the opportunity to celebrate Easter week with this community. It was a gift to walk through the whole story of Christ's death and resurrection with them. Our prayer is that this message would continue to be close to their hearts (and our own). We are blessed to be with these beautiful people for this season.