June 5, 2011

Sudanese and Ugandan Church

Filed under: Church life,Trips,Uganda — pearsey @ 8:41 pm
Tags: ,

Last weekend I had the pleasure of going to the Sudanese church in Heatherton, International Revival Church of Australia, based at Kingston City Church. Ps Wang, the pastor there, is studying the diploma of ministry with me. He’s a great guy, so while I was down in Melbourne, I thought I’d drop in and check out his church. Wang is originally from Sudan and now lives in Australia and his church is for the Sudanese community in the local area.
I was assigned an interpreter at the start of the service – primarily because most of the service would be in Sudanese (which I think is Arabic) and I only understand one word of Arabic! I can’t remember the interpreters name, but she gave me the basic interpretation as we went along – what we were singing about, what the announcements were, stuff like that. I really appreciated that, that was something that was missing when I was in Uganda, and even though I’d picked up a bit of Ugandan, I still had no idea what they were singing about most of the time!

Wang allowed me the privilege of sharing for a few minutes, to me that is a real honour. It had been a while since I talked with an interpreter, it can take some getting used to because you have to stop every few sentences so that what you’ve just said can be translated. I tried out my Ugandan on the Sudanese, but even though they are neighbours, it was a foreign language to them. I was hoping there may have been just one Ugandan in the congregation, but alas, it was not to be!

Wang’s church had some of the best worship I’ve had in a while, the people were really friendly and genuinely had a heart for God. I thoroughly enjoyed it and can’t wait til I go back again! I think it ignited something in me for Africa (and other nations) again, a longing to go back and impact the countries that have so little, but yet come to God with such a love, joy and dependence.

When I was in Uganda, experiencing my first African service, I found the Ugandan worship style ummm, unique. I don’t think I’ve come across anything quite like it in all the nations I’ve been to! They have this shriek that they love to do during worship. I’m not sure how else to describe it! (And yes, the Sudanese did it a few times as well!) Like most under developed nations, services go for a few hours and the pastors are treated with a huge amount of respect – here the people come and kneel to greet you. There’s also quite a few Ugandan churches that have sound systems, but unfortunately, it is ear piercing, over loud, poorly balanced sound – they have the equipment, I guess just not the technical know-how. I think they need a visit from a few sound technicians…

I was privileged to be able to minister in a few different churches while I was there in Uganda. One church was in a very small room, leased from a muslim lady. I’m sure the room would have only been about 6 feet wide. But this pastor has persevered and grown his church from himself to 15-20 people, in a muslim stronghold area. He was the only pastor I met with his vision and mission statement displayed in the church. There’s always a twist and that is the only church I’ve been in where I’ve been able to watch a kid doing a number 2 in the open air just outside the church window!

I found the Sudanese church very similar to the Ugandan churches. I love the passion, joy and enthusiasm they have for worshiping God. I think there are definitely lessons the western church can take from the Africans. To go from the enthusiasm of the Sudanese church (and the Ugandan churches) back to my own took some adjusting. To me it doesn’t matter that I can’t understand what they’re saying during worship, I just make up my own words or sing in tongues, or just “get into it” with them. Ahh, a church where it’s ok to celebrate, clap, sing and dance and nobody cares because everyone does it…

So while I’m writing about the Ugandan and Sudanese churches, I thought I’d post some photos of the churches in Africa. Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos of Wang or his church on Sunday, so instead you can have some of the Ugandan churches and a few pics of Burden park near Wang’s church!



  1. […] and I praying for a young lady For some other photos from Ben’s church, check out this post. GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other"); […]

    Pingback by Ben’s Church « Thumper… — August 7, 2011 @ 4:54 pm | Reply

  2. […] this post for a few more photos. GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other"); […]

    Pingback by Bushfire « Thumper… — August 15, 2011 @ 6:29 pm | Reply

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