Last Sunday was the first time I have attended a formal church service since being in South Africa. Yes I know I have been here for almost three months and I am just know going to church. I am sorry but most every weekend I have been out of town and unable to go to church. So since I was in town this past weekend I made it a point to attend church.
I attended the service at my school Kingswood College. My school is Methodist, so this was my first experience at a Methodist Church. I kind of had an idea of how the service would be since I attend chapel twice a week with my school. The service was really beautiful. It was different from what I am used to no loud singing or dancing in-between the pews, but God was in the midst.
God was in the midst…that was the most important factor. Although there wasn’t shouting and dancing and people standing whenever the spirit moved them, the Spirit was certainly present. I could feel it from the moment I entered the church. It was a quiet and gentle feeling but it was present non the less. We sung many traditional church hymns…all of which I had never heard before, but I was still able to worship God. My worship was a little quieter than normal but I am sure God still heard me.
We were all in quiet worship and reflection which is nice because I think sometimes we get so caught up in having a “show” put on for us that we forget about the real meaning of worshiping.
Today I visited my kids at the Lebone Center. And I got to attend another church service. The preacher: Jasmine (a 9 year old) and the congregation (me and some of the other children). It was amazing! So much energy and excitement! We sang lots songs (most of them in Afrikaans) and got anointed with imaginary oil and took up a collection (of leaves lol)!
But we had church! It was like I was sitting in a service at any church with an adult leading. I was very impressed with these kids. They are just so smart. I feel so blessed to know them, they teach me something new every day I come to the center. The best moment was the closing prayer at the end of our “service”. The preacher, Jasmine, blessed everyone who spoke at the service and asked God to cover us all. We ended a song of praise. We danced and clapped and moved our bodies to the rhythm we made with our hands! I felt Gods spirit all over my body. It was undeniable.
It was the same spirit that quietly and gently caressed my soul and the same spirit that roused my soul and pushed me to say Amen! I learned that I don’t have to go to a set building in order to praise God and feel Him moving. I don’t even need a seasoned preacher to give an encouraging word. All I need is two or three that come together in God’s name and the Spirit is free to move!