Sunday, October 18, 2009

Outside view of the Mulungwishi ministry

The following is a copy of an e-mail written by Tom Stanton, a Trinity-First UMC member of the work team from El Paso. We thought that you would like another point of view of life here at Mulungwishi and what a work team is involved in. “This has been a day where we have experienced in a poignant way the life cycle of the Church in the Congo. Early this morning, Mary Len, Ann, and I met for "morning prayer"; the daily 5 a.m. prayer time in the chapel at the Mission Station. We begin our day with a walk in the dark into the church for energetic song, hand-clapping, scripture reading and a sermon. These two days Mary Len, Ann, and I have sung; both days an arrangement by John Eby. It is profound to me that John, a member of our church family in El Paso, composes and arranges melodies which we share with our brothers and sisters in the Congo. John, with Mary Len's flute, and our voices in harmony we tried to justify your work. Later our team gathered for our team morning prayer/devotional and sharing. Dan, Phil, and Becky headed into the clinic. Both Dr. Dan and Dr. Phil have full days diagnosing patients, making recommendations, and as they grow in their understanding of the range of medical needs in the community, they are dialoguing with the local clinicians on the future of the clinic. It will be exciting to see where that leads us all as the Body of Christ. Ann, Mary Len, and I had a "play date" arranged with about 40 children; 4 years old to about 13. Yesterday and today we met out on a patio to sing, play games, and dance. Now, what is not to like about this "missionary" gig? Ann and Mary Len are an absolute delight and together with the children, language has been no barrier. In fact, the joy and laughter seems all the more profound as we make linguistic connections on each game. Dan and Parvin are working on some much-needed construction. Our Pastor seems to know his way around cement molds, plastering and plumbing. John was pleased to see that several of the plumbing fixes that he creatively attempted two years ago are still holding up. David and Laurie Persons, the Mission couple, still have the only flush toilet within many miles thanks to John's work. The life cycle part of this heading? Beginning at about 1:30 and lasting until 5 p.m. we participated in the funeral and graveside service of a local pastor who died yesterday. We all learn a lot about each other, and where we line up in our faith at a graveside. David Persons translated for us in whispers as the service proceeded in Swahili. We were moved to tears at a point where 30 pastors came forward, including Pastor John to lay hands on the casket as we sang in Swahili the hymn tune, "It is Well With My Soul." So today has given me much to reflect upon, and to give thanks for. On my list is giving thanks to each of you in El Paso who join us in prayer that our journey is safe, and that through our presence, the Lord's plan for his children here and in El Paso is made manifest.”

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this. It brought back so many memories of our time at the mission. Especially morning prayer which was one of my favorite parts of the day. Love, Ashlee McEwen