Monday, May 25, 2009

Pilgrim's Progress: Ironies

It's alway seemed ironic to me that doing good works in the developing world produce opportunities worthy of an Evelyn Waugh of Paul Theroux novel.

I find it odd that I can preach twice in two weeks in Lui and schmooze with the bishop when in the States, I certainly wouldn't be allowed the pulpit at the Cathedral. I've only passed pleasantries with the last two bishops of Missouri but was invited to be part of a discussion about finding a replacement for a pastor who had recently died here. I'm aware of the novelty factor of being an American in an impoverished community although Europeans of various NGO sorts appear to be thick on the ground in this part of Africa. No backpackers carryingthe Lonely Planet at all.

I preached at Buwagyi yesterday to a full church. Oneil, one of the pastors, who had come back from Juba for the funeral of the pastor who died, translated for me. He kindly lent me hisMoru hymnal so I could follow the hymns which I could usually work outby the antepenultimate verse thanks toMorris' Moru lessons. No clue what they meantbut I could utter the words. Working with a translator creates a kind of split page. I had time to look at the congregation and wished I could take photographs of some of the congregation. I think it went well but the Moru are very polite so I probably won't know with any certainty what they actually thought.

This coming Sunday I preach at Fraser Cathedral which given the season of Pentecost, will give mean opportunity to talk about unity in Jesus.

Remind me next time you see me about the time the governor of the state of Aragua,Venezuela, invited himself to lunch at my house in the barrio. He came without his bodyguards but plunked a pearl handled revolver down on the table next to his plate. That's one chapter in the novel.

Next, how to bath in a large blue plastic basin from China whhich I'm going to go do now.



No comments: