African Sunday Worship

At 7.50 a.m., as we approach the church in the tuk tuks, the powerful sounds of a choir are already ringing out to us. It is the chanting of the mass that started at 6 a.m. and lasts until after 8 a.m. The 8 am mass we have come for will not start until around 8.20 a.m.

With around two hours, masses in Tanzania last much longer than in Cental Europe. A highlight for us is the typical African choir, which accompanies the two-and-a-half hour worship with songs and movements.

What always strikes us is that despite the living conditions and the environment here, the people place a lot of value on their appearance and their looks. Beautiful colourful dresses, lots of jewellery and perfectly fitting hair. You would never think that some of those people share a room with four other family members and have a common „bathroom“ with their neighbours. The senior citizens‘ club (about 50 people) gathers after the mass for a 30-minute devotion. We can say that the citizens of Tanzania are praying people. Everything is done with prayer. It starts breakfast, meetings and journeys.

Four girls from our scholarship programme are leaving for college in Zanzibar today. Alphonce has bought the tickets, prepared the pocket money and already transferred the school fees. It is hard to say goodbye, because they will not be able to go home for holidays for the next six months. Although they are Muslim, their mothers ask Father Martin to bless them. Together they chant an Islamic prayer and he tells the girls about his own time at boarding school. It is meant to comfort them a little.

„Believe in yourselves, in your talents, your strschmbetagth. Don’t forget your dreams and know that God’s spirit is in you. He comforts you in homesickness, he cools your heart in the heat of exams. We, the team, stand with you.“

At lunchtime we are very happy to be able to eat together with the families of the team members. It is nice to meet the parents and siblings and to feel how proud they are of their children and their work. 

Together with the team we finish the evening and prepare for tomorrow’s trip to Kibiti.

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