The next steps from the trip to Zimbabwe are to bring a recommendation to the Focus Team from the Kansas West Annual Conference to move forward, draft a proposal for a covenant and prepare a presentation for Annual Conference.
I am excited to see what will happen in the future and share the stories that I have heard and seen.
One of the first sites that we visited in Zimbabwe was a revival at Prospect United Methodist Church. We walked into some of the most passionate worship that I have experienced. In the singing, preaching, dancing and response it was clear that the Holy Spirit was active. While I did not understand the language of some of the songs, I was clearly able to worship God.
It was refreshing.
I was also struck by the commitment to discipleship. 80% to 90% of the people who attended worship on the weekend were also active in a small group, which was called a section. When I commented that it would be fantastic if there there were 50% of a worshipping congregation also in a small group in the United States, my comment did not seem to make sense. The response was, wasn’t that how Wesley designed the class meeting? so that people could grow in their faith? This is the way to do that.
A few weeks ago, I had a great trip to the Zimbabwe East Annual Conference with a delegation from the Kansas West Annual Conference. One of the overwhelming characteristics of the culture was a focus on hospitality. At nearly every site that we visited there were drinks and snacks that had been prepared for us as a thank you for the visit. It is understood that if you share a meal or food with someone else the relationship is confirmed and brought to a deeper level. At many locations, we were greeted with exuberant singing as we got off the bus. It seemed as if hospitality was part of the culture and also a clear expression of faith. Sharing in a meal is a sign of fellowship that is a meaningful Christian practice. I hope to share some of the hospitality that was shared with us.
In what way have you experienced hospitality in an extravagant or unexpected way?