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Journal

Day Nine - PH NG

Mark Junkans

This morning, Sunday, we went to the Ekara church in Onne. I preached, so they made me sit up near the altar. The only problem is that I couldn't see anything. They dedicated their new drums that they will use in funeral processions and such. The service started at 10 and ended at about 1:30. We did some pre-service singing and an offering. Everything crescendoed until at last I preached. By that time we had already taken several offerings for various things. Several announcements had been made at various times as well and we had pretty much done the whole liturgy. Charles told me that I should preach for about 45 minutes, so I was feeling confident of being able to finish (with translation and all). Next time I come to your church I will preach for only 40 minutes, don't worry.
When the service was almost finished, they picked up the official offering which lasted for about 20-30 minutes. Everyone dances up to the altar and brings their offering. It's like a conga line that goes on and on. After about 20 minutes of dancing I started to get loose so I break-danced for my offering (just joking). When the service officially ended We were ushered to the guest house where they dressed us as Ekara chiefs. Everyone had a good laugh at us in their native festive clothes and we enjoyed out time. We then had a meeting with the elders for about 2 1/2 hours and finally ate supper.
I have to say that the hospitality, the worship and everything else almost brought me to tears several times. What a blessing to be in the family of God half way around the world.