Pastor Manunga shares a message at a riverside baptism service. Many rural pastors don’t have the network of connections to the rest of the body of Christ as he does.
The Easter "tomb" set up on the platform in the Lusekele sanctuary. It will be open and empty tomorrow morning.
Miriam with Pastor Manunga (r) and Andre Kizima (l), the Lusekele pastoral assistant
Didn't know? Just imagine your pastor forgetting Easter, or not knowing when it was and passing it by! But think about it. Where is a pastor in the rural heart of Africa to get such information as the date for Easter? Theoretically from his district pastor. But what if the district pastor doesn’t know either?
This year Brother Thomas, a short-term German missionary-pastor living in Vanga, and I have been revising a 20-year-old training curriculum for lay pastors. As we were working on the “worship” module, this question of the important faith events came up. Twenty years ago church leaders in Kinshasa circulated the church calendar each year. They don’t do this anymore. An isolated rural pastor, with no television, no radio, no local paper to help him keep track, may not know when Christians around the world are celebrating the central event of our faith. So now a table of Easter dates for the next 30 years is part of the new curriculum. That rural African pastor and his congregation can stay connected to the rest of the body of Christ.
Cherish your connectedness. As this Easter dawns think about that wave of voices rising from the international dateline, across Asia, Africa, Europe, South America and North America and out across the Pacific Ocean again.
CHRIST IS RISEN!
HE IS RISEN INDEED!
p.s.: I’ve sent a discrete note to the pastor from the next village wishing him and his congregation a good Easter celebration this Sunday, and an inquiry to his women’s choirs as to whether their Easter songs are ready.