My mind kept wondering back to the church next door and I whispered to James that maybe we stay a few more minutes and then go there as the services do go on for hours! He agreed and I am so glad he did as I felt at home straight away as we were so warmly welcomed by my friends at Maria’s church.
I had been asked to introduce myself at Noah’s Church but here there was no need, many of them knew me. The style of praising was not quite as noisy and lively as its neighbour but was warm and colourful with the added bonus that they automatically interpreted knowing I was there. Each time I have attended KBC I have always been asked to contribute to the service which I have done by singing songs I know.
Last year it was My God is a Great Big God taught to me by the children at St Pauls School in Poynton. After the first verse everyone tried to join in especially with the actions. I can remember one very elderly lady trying her very best to follow the ups and downs of the movements and she was there again this year and smiled at me as I stood to begin.
This year it just had to be Christmas carols and I had thought in advance and brought the words! I chose Joy to the World, one of my favourites and of James and my friend Innocent. We had been singing it together a few days ago when we got trapped in my room in a thunderstorm along with his mum and stepsister. More about that another day!
I think Joy to the World must have been one of Maria’s favourites too as quite a few of the congregation joined in. They were Maria’s ‘children’, their partners and offspring. I was awarded loud applause and the clan ‘cry’ of celebration then asked to sing another! This time I chose Silent Night as I know it so well though I wondered if my voice would hit the high notes, it did!
A few years ago I would have died of embarrassment if I had been asked to stand up in front of a congregation and talk let alone sing but here in Uganda there is something that gives me such confidence that I love it, even when I go wrong it doesn’t bother me or it seems anyone else! James and Godfrey Adrin who was at Maria’s Care and, James tutored him when he was training to be a teacher. It seems that a lot of my friends here know each other one way or another and they are all wonderful!
At the end of the service we were asked to share a Christmas cake made by one of the members. I had purposely brought a bag of ‘fizzy’ sweets which just made it around all the children. Pastor Herbert who has been preaching there since Maria’s time and Godfrey who was one of Maria’s ‘naughty boys’ asked if I would go back again before I leave so we have kept my last Sunday, 4th January, free. I have a feeling they want to gather up as many of Maria’s children as they can for that service! I will look forward to it and go prepared, maybe not too late for another carol or two!