As we stepped out of the car, we were greeted by a choir of women singing praises and men who were eager to shake our hands. (I somehow found the thorn bush and therefor spent the first few minutes picking small thorns out of my skirt, with the help of the mommas who laughed at me the whole time. Of course I would find the lone bush...) We were quickly ushered into the church as we listened and watched the choirs sing and dance, all while sneaking curious glances in our direction. (We totally snuck them, too)
As the worship began, about 30 had gathered. Mostly women. Some children. Maybe 3 or 4 men. It was a sweet service. The German (we let him go by Pastor yesterday) led the service with grace and ease- teaching those gathered a hymn in Masaai (something I've never seen done before) and using a felt board to captivatingly tell the Gospel of the day (also a first). As time went on, the voices in the church grew and grew, as more came to join. At one point, I turned around and 15+ were even huddle just outside the doors. By the end of the service, the church was mostly filled and many men had come.
As the formal service came to a close, the room began to buzz with energy. Though the rest of the group was unaware of what was coming, I could tell by the motion around me what was next. As we sat there waiting, the men took a quick leave to then return with sticks. I knew what was happening- they were going to dance for us. And dance they did! Booming and rhythmic song echoed in the brick building as 20+ Masaai men invited us into their world of traditional dance and song. As they finished and cheers surrounded the building, the women began to shuffle. Not just one, but two special shows! Again singing, jumping, and some (as Becky put it) sexy shoulder moves, were offered up. In all of the services I've been to over the years, I've never seen anything like this. It was absolutely incredible.
When the celebrations and services finished- then we painted.
Oh boy did we paint.
Anytime you give a Masaai a roller, you know it's going to be good!
And now- picture time!