When I was a kid, my church always held an annual summer picnic at the city park. Lunch was preceded by morning worship, held in the big pavilion with seating at picnic tables. It was a novelty (and I admit, a distraction) to follow the usual order of service surrounded by trees, bird song and the occasional squirrel. As much as we all enjoyed the day, it wasn’t the norm for us. A typical Sunday meant gathering in a designated church building, same time, same pastor, same congregation.
So I really enjoyed reading Rev. David Federwitz’s story about a Komba worship service in Gbintiri, Ghana.
“Since market days come every six days for the Komba, it lands on a Sunday once every six weeks. When it is both Sunday and market day in Gbintiri, many Lutherans travel in from outlying villages to participate in church services and receive Holy Communion. These outlying villages hold their own services on the other five Sundays under the care of trained lay leaders as there are not enough pastors to serve them all. Therefore, they make special arrangements to receive communion and have baptisms and confirmations. The Sunday I was there nearly 300 people received the Lord’s Supper! One of the reasons the church is seeing such vibrant growth is because they have access to the New Testament in their language. Even those who do not know how to read can listen to it on their phone using a simple app.”
Ok, the Komba market day service doesn’t actually happen outside in the middle of the marketplace. But it does happen under circumstances far different from what we are used to. The language, the music, the gathering place—all different. The message, the fellowship, the shared faith—the same.
The Komba received their New Testament in 2014 and now eagerly anticipate the completion of Old Testament translation. Thank you for your gifts and prayers, bringing Scripture to the Komba and many other language communities. God’s Word is changing lives around the world!