- Roger Thompson
Confirmation in Gitega
Last Friday I travel led with Bishop Aimé Joseph and Madame Bénigne for a confirmation in Gitega Diocese. It was a five hour round trip, mostly on rough earthen tracks, to the very remote rural parish of Kabanga. There we found a huge church recently constructed with support from St Mark’s Ballymacash who raised funds last December with a knitted bible exhibition. There was a congregation of over a thousand! The singing was deafening and the joyful dancing led by the Archdeacon and Bishop was fantastic! The service lasted two and a half hours....everyone took communion, two hundred were confirmed and four enrolled in the Mothers’ Union by Madame Benign.
I was privileged to be the guest preacher. With the help of an interpreter – Rev Arsène (a pastor who was trained in Bujumbura Christian University with support from CMSI) – I got some of the children to act out the parable of the Good Shepherd, culminating in a Kirundi chorus I'd learned a few days before. The whole church joined in with gusto.
During the final worship song there was a procession of gifts for the Bishop....bunches of bananas, baskets of maize and two live chickens....all from local farms.
The whole experience was a real foretaste of heaven!