Our family spent Easter in Kasilo village, visiting a new church there. Our teammate Calvin has been mentoring Yohana, one of the church leaders at Kasilo, and was asked to be present on Easter for several baptisms. The Groens are on their way home for furlough, so I offered to stand in for Calvin. This was Christie’s and my first trip to Kasilo, and we had a great time.
Yohana is a jack-of-all-trades sort, in that he is a nurse assistant by trade — and the most qualified in his village to do just about anything related to medicine. Within minutes of arriving at Kasilo, I was called over to watch a guy have a wisdom tooth pulled.
I wasn’t the only person watching Yohana’s work. A crowd gathered as he prepared to pull this man’s tooth just around the back of his house.
After the extraction, the patient told me that he felt absolutely no pain at any point during the process.
That means he felt less than I did. It was painful to watch. But an incredibly interesting way to begin a village visit. Something I’ve never seen before.
Then we ate chai — which is basically breakfast — at 9:30 am. It was rice and beans; some of you know this is my least favorite food in the world. They told us we were eating the stuff because it was Calvin’s favorite. Thanks, buddy.
Then we went to worship (the first time). Because there were several baptisms planned for today, I preached on the relationship between water, Easter, and baptism. (Basically that) water in the Bible usually involves some combination of the following: death, cleansing and/or new beginnings. And that on Easter we celebrate the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Baptism, then, relates to both of these. The water represents death, cleansing, and new beginning. And the act itself embodies our death to sin, burial with Christ, and resurrection to a new life. Baptism is a play of sorts, in which the participant reenacts the story of Jesus, as he claims it as his own story.
So we headed down to the large puddle / small pond in which we’d be baptizing.
Yohana performed all ten of the baptisms while the rest of us celebrated in song. I had gone with the goal of not doing more than one or two of the baptisms myself, so the Tanzanian leadership wouldn’t rely too heavily on us as missionaries. I was happy to not be needed at all.
Then back to the church “building” for more worship.
Everyone was excited to participate. All the kids sat up front.
Afterwards, we ate again. Rice and beans.
My favorite part of every village visit is the time I get to spend with the men as we sit around talking before and after meals. Today we discussed agriculture (no-till farming) and group Bible studies, among other things; we also set a date for me to return and do some more teaching.
Then we shared together in the first communion taken by the recent baptizees. [Is that a word?]
Our trip to Kasilo village was a good one. In total it was a 10-hour trip (6 in the village and 4 driving), but we were still able to be back in Geita in time to eat pizza with Carson and Holly while reading the resurrection story (in English). The Harrison family had a very blessed Easter (see Easter photos of Baylor here). I hope you did, too.
And please say a quick prayer for the Kasilo village church; it would be much appreciated.