Saturday, April 7, 2007



I have to confess that I am dreading church tomorrow. I know that sounds terrible for a missionary.

One thing I like about the Christian holidays here is that they are very church-centered. That's a good thing. But the services on Christmas & Easter get really long. Every ethnic group (about 10 of them) shares a special song, in addition to those who sing weekly: the Ladies' Choir, the 2 children's choirs, the Bambara Choir, the French Choir. At Christmas, all this took nearly 4 hours, so when our colleague, Mark, got up to preach his well-prepared sermon, someone whispered in his ear, "Just 5 minutes, okay?"

On top of this, Easter falls in hot season. Last year, it got to 118F (ca. 48C) on Easter Sunday! I just get more and more uncomfortable and resentful, not at all the attitude one wishes to have on the highest holiday of the Christian faith. We also used to invite our non-Christian friends to church for the holiday, because a meal is served afterwards, but I just can't do it. I wouldn't wish that marathon on my worst enemy.

Mind you, the church members don't think it's a marathon. It's an expression of joy. But I don't happen to believe my Muslim friends appreciate it quite as much. Maybe I'm wrong.

No comments: