Sunday, June 27, 2010

First Oshiwambo Church Service

This Sunday I went to my first Namibian church service. Namibia is a Christian country, with 95% of the population identifying as Christian. We have a large Lutheran church in Okahao. I asked one of my colleagues if I could go with her, and she was excited to take me. It’s a big church, with a large congregation. The entire service is in their native language, Oshiwambo, so I didn’t understand much! I brought my Bible in English, so I was able to follow along with the scripture readings. The singing was definitely my favorite part! The men and the women have such beautiful voices. The men really sing here! No one holds back, and it makes for an entire church congregation choir. The only song I recognized was the Doxology, but it was sung in Oshiwambo.

To say that I stood out would be an understatement. I was the only white person in the whole building. This gave cause for a lot, a lot of staring. You have to go up to the front to offer your offering and again to take Communion, so there wasn’t a soul in the place who did NOT see me and wonder who I was.

Mrs. George, my colleague, did her best to interpret the highlights of the three and a half hours long service. It was very, very long, especially not in English. While there was a language barrier, worshipping God is a universal experience, and it was amazing to be with others praising the Lord in the middle of Namibia.

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