Today we dressed in our Shatangas and Steve's shirt matched Michele's shatanga. What a colorful group!! The day is always an adventure as we searched for the church. Picking up two young men who were on their way - oops we were going in the opposite direction !!
Upon arrival at the church, we were greeted by the Rev. Gallen, his wife Gertrude and daughter. Everyone warmly greeted us. The service started with joyous music, songs, and dancing bringing everyone to their feet. The choir was so melodious and energetic. Leonard is so proud of his daughter, Bwalya. It was a very special day for him. In addition, a group of students sang for us followed by the choir bringing the TPM people to their feet to dance with them. I, as well as the others, felt tremendous spiritual hugs surrounding us. Leonard introduced Michele and Steve as being members of the Jewish faith who had also visited Israel. Michele taught the congregation the word Shalom - meaning hello, goodbye, and most important- peace. Steve was asked to give a prayer to the congregation in Hebrew and he recited the "shehechianu" prayer - the Jewish prayer of joy at reaching an auspicious time and place. Pictures were taken with the choir following the services.
The eye glass clinic followed with approximately 10 people being very happy with their new glasses including two women visiting from Angola. As we get ready to leave the church, we found that the bus's wheels were stuck in the moist sand. The strong team we are, got behind the bus and along with a few of the children we pushed the bus out of the sand.
Next we made a surprise stop at the orphanage for a brief orientation and tour before our visit this week. The visit revealed how clean, organized and loving these children are. We will hopefully return for fun and games this week. Rev. Gallen then took us to an area with a beautiful view of the Zambezi River and one of its beach areas. The day ended with stupendous sunset and dinner.
We can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.