Children’s Church Service-Childhood Expedition
Waking Up To Prepare:
It is Sunday morning, I woke up a little behind the usual time; I have to quickly prepare for children’s church service. Making it to service behind the time is not a good one, our Miss will not be happy with me. Our Miss sees me as one of the leaders in the children’s church. It is because of this I have to be there on time at least, to help put the chairs in order. And also bring in the bibles from the church vestry.
I cherish this privilege I have because is not every child has the opportunity to do the things I do. The notion is that any child that has this opportunity God’s blessing will not elude him. And because of this, my mother encourages my participation in the children’s church. She thinks that I am an auspicious person, especially as regards to my early engagements with the things of God.
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Thank goodness my mother is awake already. This has become like a norm to her, she wakes up very early every Sunday morning. This she does in order to make sure that everything I need is ready and on time too. I quickly rush behind the house to collect water for bathing. The water container we have behind our house is a very big clay pot. The water drips down from our thatched roof and goes into the clay pot. We call it nmiri mkpa. The only thing you have to do is to filter thatch debris from the water. A light cloth which is always handy at the back of the house does the job perfectly well. And one is set to bath.
My Bathing Spot:
This particular spot at the back of the house is where I take my bath. I don’t need a bath room because at my age nakedness is not considered a problem. My soap is there always, I use a locally made soap. We make the soap from potassium sourced from ashes of burnt palm tree lops. We call it Ncha si Nkita.
Though this soap has an unpleasant odor, we consider it healthy to the skin and medicinal as well. The nature of nmiri mkpa is that it is always cold and for me is very refreshing bathing with it. Well, within a few minutes I am through with bathing. I ran from behind the house into the main building and I clean my body with my towel.
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Then I went for my cream, my cream is Stella pomade, the color is yellow and is oily in nature. This cream I believe makes my body smooth and fresh. Now, while I was bathing my mother has brought my clothes from her room. She prepares it this way, every Saturday night she folds them neatly and put them under her pillow.
In the morning of Sunday the clothes will look ironed. She does this because we don’t have pressing iron. As I am about to put on my clothes, my mother walks in. She comes in with a cup of tea and some slices of bread in a small tray. I thank my mother and immediately I chunk off some part of the bread and gulp down a little potion of the tea. It really makes my morning, and then in between I was mediating on the songs to sing in today’s church service.
Children’s Church Service:
Suddenly I heard my name Kinsi. That’s the voice of Bato, he’s ready for us to go to church. My mother loves Bato because he is very churchly and his character is very emulating. She encourages our friendship, because it appears morally healthy and exemplary among other children. I hasten up to finish my breakfast and then we are on our way to children’s church service.
Our church Holy Trinity Church Obollo has a beautiful tower with a big bell hanging inside it. There are some white bright owls that live inside the tower. If you take a gawk at them, their appearance sends fear down your spines. So to avoid such situation we go straight into the church hall.
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From the entrance of the church we notice the presence of our Miss. Our Miss as we fondly call her is Madam Ziri, she is a middle age woman and she has two children who are about my age. The Church has four other entrance doors, and through the windows we saw other children trooping into the church compound. One could easily read the zeal on their faces.
Children’s church service in Anglican churches is a thrilling moments for children because they come to be trained on how to read and as well learn moral values. Our teachers especially Madam Ziri teaches us in our Sunday school how to read Igbo Alphabets. For this reason, is very easy for Anglican children to read Igbo bible; and they are known for this in our community.
Church Service Begins:
On seeing us Madam Ziri smiled and as we approach her, she stretched her hands to touch us. The touching from her hands sends a message of acceptance and warmness that indicates bond of love. Immediately she sent us to go get the children’s bible, musical instruments and hymn books. We went into the church vestry to bring these items. And before we could come back, other children that came around have put the tables in place.
The children’s church service opens with an opening prayer and our Miss does that and after the opening prayer we begin to sing songs. We do this with all amount of zeal. The little ones among us learn from us though sometimes it is difficult to sing along with them. The last song we sang before the bible reading is about heaven and it goes like this:
Ulom di n’elu igwe mara nma 2x
Imakwa Ulom di n’uwa mana nke di igwe ka ya nma 2x
Ulom di n’uwa mana nke di igwe ka ya nma
Onwu adighi ya
The meaning of this song is that we have a house in heaven and is a beautiful house though we have a house here on earth; the one in heaven is better and more beautiful. Also, in our house in heaven, there’s no death. After this song I was called up to read the bible text. And we read from the gospel of John 14:1-4.
When I was through reading, our Miss said the sermon. And in it she stresses the need for us to be good and respectful children to our parents.
Jollof Rice My Favorite:
That it is only by this we can access our house in heaven. Thereafter we sang songs and then the offering was taken. Bato was asked to say the closing prayer.
On our way going, I was pondering over the song, I was wondering why we didn’t go to this house in heaven before coming here on earth. Bato noticed that something is not right from my look and he asked if anything is the matter. I told him to never mind, that I am fine. Our house is not far from the Church and within a space of time we are in our compound.
I immediately remove myself from my church clothes as we fondly say it. And straightaway to the kitchen, wow my mother has prepared my Sunday favorite. Jollof rice is something I cannot do without somehow on Sundays, and this one my mother prepared it with prawns and some dried fishes.
It was put in an okuu (okuu is a clay dip round plate) and place on our Ukuo (Ukuo is wooden stake usually about two meters above the fire spot in the kitchen). It is usually for the preservation of foodstuffs like fish, meat, soup and other perishable things. Corn and Akidi (our local beans) and something we call wagbarati (is a snack that is made with grinded melon and fresh pepper) can be stored on Ukuo. Taking wagbarati with a fresh palm wine is very refreshing especially as a dessert.
My Pondering Over House in Heaven:
And because the Ukuo is always warm it scares ants and rodents away from attacking foodstuffs. However, we bounce on the rice and before long we are done with it. While we are eating, the thought of house in heaven keep on recalling. Though I discover that it is something I have to deal with but the reality is that I don’t have what it takes to deal with it. I hope someday I will understand what it is all about but for now let me give it a break.
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