Sunday, February 1, 2009

house blessing

It is one of those culturally difficult things for us--that it is more polite to invite yourself over to someone's house than to invite them over to yours. Having been unable to help us on moving day, our church announced that they were going to come over on Saturday and spend the day with us. In inviting themselves to our house they intended to bless us but we awaited the day with some apprehension, not knowing how many were coming or exactly when or what would be expected of us. Five mamas arrived a little before noon with five kids and some food to cook for us.

It did turn out to be a blessing. While the meat and papa (stiff cornmeal porridge) cooked, we talked. Sis Nandi asked for a Bible to 'open the word' for a newer member who was there.

Mama Ntapo asked to see and hear Joe's mandolin and then tried to play it herself.

The kids played outside with blocks and then the boys took them into their room and were very impressed by the Lego houses that were made.

And in the end we didn't even have to do the thing which is most difficult for us--to release our guests. In our culture, it is the host's responsibility to make the guests feel welcome as long as they want to be there. In this culture it is the host's responsibility to tell their guests that they can leave. This is incredibly difficult for us to do as we feel like we are shooing them out the door. But in this case, their taxi arrived to convey them home without us having to release them--a great relief to us. And now our house has been blessed by the care and love of our friends.

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