Sunday, August 23, 2009

"Let us go to the house of the Lord" Psalm 122:1

Today is Sunday morning and Babs and I are "on duty" this weekend. This means that we will stay on site while the other staff and children leave to attend church. It becomes a ghost town around here shortly after breakfast as all the children are old enough to now attend church with their mothers. So this morning, everyone is gone...well, all except Obadiah. He has had malaria since Tuesday. Malaria is not that common with the Rafiki children since they are in cottages with screened windows and they sleep under mosquito nets. Last year we had one confirmed case of malaria with the children and it was about this time of the year.
Every morning, two year old Obadiah has been saying to his mother and the medical manager (Babs) that he is all better as he laid listless and feverish on his bed. The closer we got to the weekend, the more he tried to convince them that he was all better and that he would be going to church. These kids love going to church!
The "outing" of attending church takes an effort. At breakfast, they are all be dressed in their Sunday best. By 8am or 8:30am they leave through the front gate. They walk a mile down a muddy road to the the "junction" where they hail a cab. This morning it is raining. I think it rains every Sunday morning.  Hailing a taxi is a process, as there are more people than cabs to transport them into the Monrovia area. It is not uncommon to see adults verbally fighting over who will get the empty seat when someone gets out of a taxi. Our mothers and children have an advantage because they can fill the whole cab and pay for each person riding. More children can fit into the cab than adults; a lighter load too. Taxi drivers like that!
Church lasts for about two hours. Some of the churches have Sunday school for the children; but some do not or it is sporatic because they have a hard time getting people to lead Sunday school. After church, it is back to the street to find a cab to get back to the village.  
This whole process of going to church can take hours to accomplish. Somewhere in this process the children and mommas eat their sack lunch that they took with them. Any time between two and five o'clock the four families will come walking back through the gate. We have voiced our concerns to the mothers about walking out into the mud when it is pouring rain. The mothers replied, "This is Liberia; it will rain. The children need to go to church". What a good attitude!

 So, this morning everyone is at church except Obadiah and the auntie who is with him. He is bummed. He is feeling better, and has been without fever for twenty four hours. The duty personnel are thinking that they may show Obadiah a video when the power comes on at noon. It will be our secret; hah! like it is possible to have a secret in the village! But I don't think we have to worry about the children faking malaria to stay home from church to see a video. Going to church is too big an adventure!
Hope you enjoy going to church this Sunday!