easter in kasilo village

the road to kasilo village

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.

yohana the dentist, doctor, and minister -- though he looks like about anyone from an MTV Rock 'n Jock softball game in the 90's

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.

just the usual tools of the trade

After the extraction, the patient told me that he felt absolutely no pain at any point during the process. 

the extraction of a lone wisdom tooth

 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.

the happy patient, tooth in hand

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.

beans and rice for breakfast... mmmm.

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.

oh brothers, lets go down, down to the river to pray (NOT a river)

So we headed down to the large puddle / small pond in which we’d be baptizing.

a baptism performed by yohana the doctor, dentist, and baptizer

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. 

a prayer after the baptisms -- isn't it strange that we call the act of praying prayer... and not the person who does it?

Then back to the church “building” for more worship.

worship at kasilo church

Everyone was excited to participate.  All the kids sat up front.

...and more worship

Afterwards, we ate again.  Rice and beans.

baylor learned to share with the other kids. and the girl's a huge fan of 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.

my favorite time in the village -- sitting and talking with the men before and after meals

Then we shared together in the first communion taken by the recent baptizees.  [Is that a word?]

communion, eucharist, lord's supper, whatever you prefer to call it

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.

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11 Comments

Filed under church planting, just photos, living in africa, sunday gatherings, tanzania

11 responses to “easter in kasilo village

  1. Yohana sounds like the perfect guy to become a church planting missionary among his people. With his medical/dental abilities he can support himself anywhere and be a great benefit to any community–earning the trust of the people, thus gaining a hearing for the gospel.

    • i really think he may be that, john. i’m meeting him tomorrow morning to give him a ride to mwanza. so we should get to talk a fair amount then. i’m looking forward to it.

  2. LOVED seeing that. What an Easter day you had!

  3. Emily Miller

    Recently baptized? Is this one of the churches out near Biharamulo? Sweet fun.

    • it is indeed one of the biharamulo churches — one that started in a roundabout way through a guy named paulo from uburiaji (or something like that kind of?). but we really had a good time. and i gained a little confidence in my swahili that i needed as well.

  4. JMF

    Awesome, awesome post! Really enjoyed reading all of that.

    Questions:

    1) In every pic I’ve seen of your wife, she is wearing a floor-length skirt of some sort. Is that just her taste or is it a cultural conformation of some sort? …Of course, the cool answer would be that you are now insisting your wife only wear dresses, isn’t allowed to wear make-up, and cannot cut her hair. That would be rollin’ old-school COC. Props.

    2) I’d like to know more about your beard situation. Did you lose a bet and have to grow a Clooney beard? …Or are you in the process of going back to a manly alpha/Viking beard? If the latter = props.

    • answers:

      1) the long skirts and dresses are cultural. for a lady to show her knees here is pretty much the same as a lady taking her top off in the states. which is ironic, since here we see boobs all the time.

      2) i am in the process of growing my beard out a little. i’m not sure if it’ll be a viking beard or not, but it will be bigger — or at least longer. i just shaved my head really really short and am letting the beard still grow. i’m going for that tough guy, just got out of prison look. i think i might be able to pull it off….

  5. Amber

    “Baptism is a play of sorts, in which the participant reenacts the story of Jesus, as he claims it as his own story.” You know I am CofC from way back, so you know I’ve both heard and taught the meaning of baptism for my entire life. This may be the best, most succinct explanation I’ve ever seen. Nicely done.

    • thanks, amber. it’s been my favorite definition for the last couple of years or so.

      now give me a suitable and succinct description of why we don’t use instruments…

  6. Pingback: Easter in Kasilo « mission geita

  7. Pingback: work report: march-june 2011 | aliens and strangers

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