I headed out with Doug early to get ready for the church service. Its a weekly ritual for Doug to walk to church, allowing Lyndi and the kids some extra time to get ready. We arrived and got to work. I helped set up the projector while Doug moved around talking to people, getting things settled. Seats filled, music started and we were off. The message was accompanied by drums, played by Dar's worship leader Leonard, while Doug told the story of God & his people throughout scripture. At the end of these segments of story telling, members of the congregation would come up and read a passage from the bible. It was a great message so well done by pastor Doug! We had communion, worshipped to music some more and then had food and beverages and "fellowshipped" a bit.
We returned home for to pick up some hard boiled Easter eggs to hand out with the Miller family in a neighborhood near the kids' school (Haven of Peace Academy or HOPAC) called Sala Sala. We met the Millers in the HOPAC parking lot, prayed for God's favor in our Easter mission and made the ascent to Sala Sala. Sala Sala is a shanty town community in an abandoned quarry. Typical third world story. A large company extracts resources and leaves a large plot of land vacant for people to squat. We descended into the quarried area as a big pack of light skinned, kinda out of place people carrying large trays of colorful eggs ready to hand them out to hungry kids. We visited a woman that Doug and Lyndi had met previously. They thought it would be good to tell her of their intentions and get the thumbs up from her. Easter eggs are not the norm here obviously and they didn't want to risk there being any connection with witchcraft. Word spread fast and kids and moms started coming out as we walked around the community. The eggs disappeared quickly and it was loads of fun. God was there. I could feel him. It was super cool to be a part of this. Few places have this affect on me. It happens most often for me around the poor.
We returned to the woman we had met before (Mama Fatuma, I think). She and some other women were busy cooking lunch. She was cooking pilau, a favorite of mine that Lyndi has made for us when they were back in the states. Its a rice and meat dish, cooked in a seasoning with onions and garlic. All the essential ingredients of a meal I am guaranteed to love. It was so cool to watch her make this in the traditional way, over a fire. I can only imagine how the smoke would find its way into the food and make it taste so good.
As the food was cooking we gathered around some stools and mats and conversed for a bit. Lots of laughter. Again, a sure sign that relationships were being built and that God was there.
We headed home for a minute to get our Easter Sunday dinner contributions and drove around the corner to the Miller's house. Easter dinner included roast chicken, mashed potatoes, broccoli salad, and deviled eggs. The eggs were first planted around the yard for the kids to find, along with some other plastic eggs with candy in them. Lyndi and Melissa peeled the eggs while I sliced them and made the yolks ready for the filling. We ate. We laughed. It was an Easter unlike any other.