Since I live in Eldoret now more than just passing through I get to take part in events that only local people take part in. Last Sunday I was invited to a to take part in a sermon at the school where they had invited some of the local pastors. I woke up 7 in the morning to music. I was wondering who could possibly be plying music at that time in the morning, it turned out to be the chapel next door which had already started their sermon.
I went to the hotel restaurant to have breakfast and there the tv showed, guess what, a sermon, the volume turned up to max. Later when I walked down the street of my hostel I could hear the pastor preaching all over the street.
I had been told that the sermon at the school would start at 9 in the morning. I suspected that this would not really be the case and arrived at 10.30. And about half an hour later the sermon started. In Sweden I rarely go to church and would not identify myself as a christian and I’m become slightly uncomfortable when I’m in the same room as people who claim they believe in God. And there I was on the front row of the whole spectacle.
3,5 hours later I was still there. I desperately had to pee but I didn’t dare moving because maybe the pastor would think that I was disrespectful. He preached that the students at the school should pray to God so that they would pass their exams and we prayed together. During his prayer people around me called out yes, oh yes lord like they were entranced and I stood there in the midst of everything feeling lost, not really knowing what to do. At three o’clock in the afternoon the sermon was over and I could finally go to the toilet.That Sunday I came home feeling more tired than ever and had so many experiences to digest.
My religious experiences didn’t stop there though. The other day when I was sitting in my hotel room reading I heard something. It sounded familiar, it was the sound of cars honking and people screaming in victory and joy. For me the sound meant that someone had won an important football game and now the supporters were celebrating. I heard the sound coming closer and decided to go downstairs and have a look.
It looked like a carnival procession but on the open truck which was the centerpiece of this party was a pastor shouting out his message to the people. I asked one of the spectators who he was and was told it was a famous pastor who claims that he is able to to perform miracles and cure people from the most severe disorders. And there he was on the main street of Eldoret with people chairing and dancing around him.
Religion is a really big thing here and I’m trying to get my head around the whole concept. It’s such a huge part of the culture and hopefully at the end of my stay I will have maybe somehow manage to get my head around it.