I would like to share with you the worship service that we had today in Arusha, Tanzania.
The service was to begin at 10.00 a.m., and as the brethren were now meeting at a new location, I went early. Having phoned Allen, the preacher, he met me on the main street and guided me to the little school room where the brethren now meet for worship. The room where the church meets is small and without windows, the light comes in from the double doors that you enter through. There are about 5 rows of seats and desks on each side of a central passage and a blackboard on the wall at the end of the building. Normally you would think that the room would fit about 20 people in, but we had 38 at worship today. The brethren are quiet close!
When I got to the building at 9.30, most of the brethren were already there. It was wonderful to greet my old friends and to meet new members and visitors. Before too long singing started as the brethren practiced their favourite songs. This continued until we started our worship service. At this time there was a least 4 people on each bench, but all were very happy to be there.
Services started with a prayer and a song, then I was invited to get up and speak. What with everything I said having to be translated by Allen, I preached for about 1 hour and I can honestly say the brethren’s eyes did not leave my face. I preached on how, when serving God, size does not matter. We looked at the examples of Gidion’s defeat of the Midionites, David and Goliath and how Jesus chose to go the the home of the small man, Zaccheus. It is so wonderful preaching God’s word when the brethren are listening so closely and following along in their Bibles.
After I had finished preaching another brother, Wilson, got up and presided over the Lord’s supper and then the collection. We sang another song and closed in a prayer. It was a very simple service, but that is what worship is about in the Lord’s church - worshipping in spirit and truth.
When the service had finished the brethren wanted me to get up and tell them about what I had been doing and what I planned for this visit. They commented on the sermon with one brother commenting on the smallness of this congregation and how that didn’t matter - they had got it!
It truly is a privilege to work with these brethren. I ask that you continue to remember them in your prayers.