As we walked off of the dirt roadway down the hill to where the church is located, I could hear the people while we were still quite far from the church.
We were about two hours later than what had been arranged the previous morning, but no one had gone home. They remained at the church to await our arrival, but they had not been simply waiting around looking at the time and getting impatient. At least when we arrived, they were singing and had their own worship service well underway.
As we walked into the church, everyone burst out in every form of emotion. There was shouts of joy, there was clapping, some began to sing, many were dancing. Someone called out, "Our daddy has come!"
There is one lady at church, quite elderly, whose expression of high emotion is to make a very distinctive sound that is unlike any other. You may have heard this sound on the news some evenings. It is the sound that the women of the middle east make when they are learning of the death of their loved sons in a war. The term for the sound that they make is called ululation.
Ululation is a vocal expression that is somewhere between the sound of singing and one of screaming. It is made by emitting a scream (of sorts), while at the same time rapidly moving the tongue back and forth, touching in succession both of the inner sides of the teeth.
It is a piercing sound, and if you have ever heard it, you know exactly what I mean. If you have not heard it, then there is no way to describe it. For the war widows and mothers of the middle east, it was a lamentation. For this lady as we entered the church, it was an expression of great joy.
Several times since then, as I walked down to the church from the road, this lady has greeted me in the same way. Then she grabs my hand and tells me in her very broken English how happy she is that I have come and can’t I come there to stay and to work with them.
They did not ask me to preach on that first night, for which I was very thankful. I stood up and greeted the all from the Log Church of Wisconsin and from my wife (they call her "Mummy").
The same group of men then accompanied me to the hotel that they had arranged for me (a very nice one and not too expensive, plus it has internet), and then allowed me to settle into rest. I am sure that they were just as glad to be able to rest. It will be a busy week.
But I had arrived. I was in Kisii, Kenya and still not certain of all of the reasons that God wanted me to come. I only know I needed to come. There was no other way that I could continue with my life.