13th Sabbath Celebration
The Thirteenth Sabbath celebration was being planned, and some preparations were already underway. People brought food to be cooked in giant pots that resembled medieval cauldrons. A fabric design had been chosen for the celebration and taken before district members so they could purchase material to have their outfits made. It is a tradition here for different get-togethers like weddings, funerals and special church functions to have coordinated garments designed from one or two fabric patterns.
The outdoor shelter next to the church was built using logs tied together and covered with old tarps from each family, made from sewn-together sacks. Each family brought their bench, supplemented by extra benches from other churches. The children sat on big mats.
Since there was no refrigerator, food preparation began the evening before the Sabbath. Because of the high temperatures, food cannot be cooked too soon, or it will rot. Rice, especially, must be cooked closer to the event as it will turn gluey in 12 hours. Fish and tofu were fried and cooled so they wouldn’t go bad. Veggies were cut up for the rice and there was a spicy sauce that would be eaten with porridge. One pot contained enough corn porridge to feed everyone who came on Friday to help set up and evangelize the village.
At about 11:00 p.m., End Time Events by Amazing Facts was played for everyone who gathered. Evening festivities finished around 1:00 a.m., and everyone went to sleep. Early the next morning, water was hauled in from the town pump so everyone could shower. At about 8:00 a.m., people from the other churches began arriving, most dressed in their coordinated outfits, making it hard to spot who you were trying to find. Those of us from Natitingou had left at 7:00 a.m. to arrive at the services by 9:45 a.m. Yes, it was a long way to go, but it was important that I join them.
The church service concluded with communion. Although our communion cups are disposable, we wash and bleach them for reuse. The fellowship meal soon followed. Because it was New Year’s Eve, people began leaving in the early afternoon, and by 3:30 p.m., most everyone was on their way home, feeling blessed by God for this Thirteenth Sabbath celebration.
Please pray for our churches to continue growing together in the grace of God and reaching outward to our communities.