Church, to the Wusaraambya believers, is a time of fellowshipping and focusing on God. It begins around 10 a.m. or whenever everyone can make it to the river to wash up, put on their only other set of clothes (if they have a spare) and make the trek from scattered homes high up in the surrounding mountain ridges to the little church building.
The ringing of the “bell” – a clanging of a stick against a scrap piece of metal found at a World War II outpost several hours walk away – signals the opening of the church doors around 9:30 a.m. Then the music starts as young men trickle in, chewing on their sweet potatoes and cooking bananas, and strumming eagerly on their guitars to signify the morning call to worship.
Soon, the women begin to join the mix. They sit outside at first, talking and giggling together as they wait for enough women to make their entrance appropriate.
Around 10 a.m. there are enough women to join the men so they eagerly swarm into the church and join with the happy voices of the men in praising God. Soon the church is packed full of men, women and children eagerly expecting to hear God’s Word.
The Bible teachers start the church service with prayer, because the most important part of every church service is talking to God.
The Bible teacher then spends time reviewing a lesson from the week before, making sure that the congregation not only remembers the lesson, but that they have put the lesson into practice throughout the week. Members of the church, both young and old, are invited to give feedback from their lives about how they have applied the message and what challenges they faced.
Next, the Bible teacher proceeds to share theological truth from books like Romans and Ephesians. These messages are delivered completely from memory and are the product of countless hours of study and prayer.
They build on the foundation laid by an in-depth study of the Firm Foundations lessons which give a chronological teaching of the Bible from Creation to Christ – twice, once for evangelism and then for discipleship – and teach about church discipline and the Christian walk from Acts and the Epistles.
The Bible teacher then prays for the congregation to digest the message he just presented them with; he also prays that they will have the courage to apply it. This truth is not for the young believers, he knows, but for those who already know the foundational truth and who are ready to go deeper in their walk with God. This journey is not for the faint of heart.
The Bible teacher then again opens the floor to discussion. Members of the congregation pepper him with questions about how to apply biblical truth to practical life situations. It is now around 2 p.m. The discussion goes for another hour. The camaraderie amongst the believers grows as they prepare to do battle with the forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
The church service finally ends around 3 p.m. and is followed by a time of fellowship and of eating food together as believers. Then the Wusaraambyans disperse to each others’ homes for more fellowship and discussion.
Sunday is a day of prayer and fellowship. And as Bible teacher Willis says, “What else would be do on our Sunday but get together and worship God?”