It started at 9.30 a.m. and ended at 4 p.m., followed by dinner. The church was more than full with about 1 250 persons present. There were many guests and three large choirs from other churches had been invited. The church brass band and at least five of the church’s own choirs performed. Pastor Mpedoso from the Nzadi and Pozo parishes in Matadi was leader of the service throughout the whole day. Thanks to the participation of all the choirs, there was much singing.
Pastor Diangitukulu was installed as pastor and as district superintendent and gave his installation sermon. He preached about the need to have a goal, to move like an runner towards a target. We were happy when he mentioned our course and some of the content of the FBS material on this subject. Diangitukulu then became personal and assured us that he will work for the Church’s best, with endurance, as long as he is given the opportunity. The service also included the recurring elements of welcoming all guests, collection and announcements.
The actual installation began at two o’clock. Mission Director Edi Diafuanakana led the extensive ritual in which the tasks, responsibilities and visions of a pastor were treated. Another man welcomed Diangikutulu to the Baobab church and the church district. Then there was intercession for the new pastor and his wife, led by Clement Nyambudi and fidel Muanda, two former Mission Directors.
The next item on the agenda brought with it a lot of funny moments. It was the part where the congregation handed over gifts for the new pastor. The domineering gift was tin roof, the Diangitukulus received about 30 to 40 panels. But there were also chairs, a fan, a freezer, buckets and other containers and many other useful things. We gave an envelope with money, like many others did too. Six women came carrying a heavier gift, a thick double mattress. Lots and lots of food were given, and as the brass band played during ceremony everybody danced their way to the front of the church with their gifts.
I brought greetings from the friend congregations in Hökerum and Blidsberg and Bernt had greetings from the Immanuel Church in Borås and Pastor Joseph Nsumbu. On the spot we decided that the Diangitukulus needed some lights for their house and we promised them a set of solar lamps. No one had thought of lamps, so it was fitting that we give them a set. We have them in stock here in Matadi, and we’ll give it to them tomorrow. We hope that it can be a gift from Hökerum, Blidsberg and Borås. At the same time I took the opportunity to advertise for our solar lamps. We’ll see if it helps Yapeco to sell.
After this, the congregation invited everyone to dinner. A total of 825 people accepted the invitation. There was fish, chicken, cassava, fries and soft drinks. This had been the longest church service I’ve ever experienced. It had been an event characterized by orderliness as well as a rich and varied content. Uniformed hosts and hostesses had been taking care of us during the service, and they continued to keep track of us during the dinner. Everything was very well organized.