Moz. Musings: Easter Morning

The singing and dancing started on Saturday, and carried on after I went to bed. I envied the Mozambicans' ability to seemingly sing and dance forever when I woke up in the night and heard the drums and voices still going strong. A part of me wanted to go out and dance with them (even though I'm pretty abysmal at that sort of thing), but I knew I'd be dog-tired if I did. I'd had a lot of trouble sleeping at night, so the few hours I was able to snatch were very precious to me. I figured I'd better be boring and sensible if I wanted to get up early to do baptisms the next morning.

Things had quieted down a bit when my alarm went off around 3 am. I had slept in my regular shirt, so all I had to do was roll out of bed, wrap a capulana around my waist, grab some sandals, a scarf to cover my untidy hair, and try to make it out the door without running into anything in the dark.

The predawn air was clean, fresh, invigorating...and cold. By the time we'd gotten to the church, my half-awake body was protesting vigorously against the chill. I glanced inside, saw that a bunch of people were still sleeping on the floor, and decided that I could probably scurry back and get something to wrap up in without the risk of getting left behind. I accordingly scurried, to return shortly with another capulana tied around my shoulders. I came into the church, careful not to step on any of the people sleeping on the floor, and took a seat.

One of the pastors was up front talking, and as I could barely comprehend what he was saying, my attention wandered a bit. I noticed that a cross, a crown of thorns, and a few other decorations had materialized at the front of the church. I also noticed that several of the indistinct bundles of capulana had begun to stir, and, before long, people began to emerge from them. A shiver of excitement  ran through me. This is Easter in Africa!!!

The very first of the grey dawn-light was creeping over the world when we started out walking. As soon as the light was bright enough, I began snapping pictures.

There is something beautiful, and unifying, and timeless about walking along a dirt road as the sun comes up.

I did not know most of the people I was with. I could barely speak their language. But there I was, in their midst, celebrating the most beautiful holiday of the whole year.

A lot of the road was under water. I shed my shoes, and slogged along. My heart swelled with the sheer joy and wonder of sharing these beautiful moments with my family in Christ. I felt ready to burst with pent-up happiness as we faced into the rising sun.

I am not really sure how far we walked, but it took us awhile to get there. A long line of people wading along a road does not go very fast. The sun was thoroughly up by the time we reached the river.

The people who had come to be baptized stood in a line to wait their turn.

The baptism went pretty quickly. Many of the members of the visiting YWAM team helped baptize.

Those who were not baptizing formed a group and laid hands on and prayed for those who had just been baptized. I attached myself to this group, and spent part of my time praying for people and part of my time taking pictures.

The logical thing to do when you're going to place where there is abundant fresh water is to carry the washing along with you...right? It makes sense to me! Anyway, all the women who weren't otherwise occupied whipped out the dirty laundry and started scrubbing.

Several members of the YWAM team had made professions of faith, but never been baptized. God started moving their hearts during the baptisms of the Mozambicans, and they decided to take this opportunity to be baptized. Their joy was so beautiful to see.

And then came the walk back, with soggy clothes, joyful hearts, and memories that will last forever.