The Venda sky

 Posted by Chante Cooper at 9:41 am  South Africa
Feb 082015

If you drive into any local village around here on a Sunday morning there will not be very much to see. The streets will be empty, the kids normally playing outside vacant and the shops closed.  In fact there is so little happening you might even think the place had been evacuated… That is until you wind down the windows and suddenly in comes the music.  Beautiful, sweet African voices singing loudly in chorus,  the  playful beat of the drums in tune with joyous clapping and energetic dance,  the ululating, ringing call of the ladies.  A mixture of slow, pure beautiful song in prayer and worship with the most exhilarating, upbeat buoyant dance of praise,  filling all the air and rising up high towards the heavens.  If you drive into a village later in the afternoon,  you will see almost the entire town walking home through the streets together in their best dress church outfits,  the atmosphere of faith all around obvious and undeniable.  There are many different church denominations, all Christian, and very many church buildings…  At least one on each Street, and all of them packed with people each Sunday. Today we all(the volunteers)  went to Murendenis church,  faith in action.  It was an experience to say the least! The dance and song and music was unreal, everyone on their feet and moving,the whole atmosphere of it just made you wish you were brave enough to join in completely and go just as crazy. The prayer and sermon was quite different to what i am used to: everyone joining in in prayer, loudly chanting individually out loud while pacing pack and forth or falling to their knees, eyes tightly shut, so that the whole room was filled with noise and faith so strong its incredible. The sermon very intense,  the pastor screaming and shouting with the English translator beside doing just the same, bouncing up and down and barely able to stand in one spot for a few seconds.  My host family go to the seventh day adventist church so church for them is on Saturday Sabath begins on Friday sunset so before then my host mum comes home early and we cook a whole lot of food. Saturday church begins at 8.30 and finishes around 6pm. So far ive only been to Friday night prayer with them but i really like it. The message given then is always really great and sometimes made up on the spot, always closely in connection with the bible, the singing is beautiful and we end by walking outside singing and shaking hands before a final prayer outside in a circle as the sun sets a brilliant orange . Here in Venda the sky always seems so close, the moon and its stars so clear and bright, the sun so intense and when the rain arrives you can sometimes see the lightening strike the ground before your eyes, lighting up the entire place. Its as though the faith here is so great and strong, or maybe because in South Africa death is a far more common occurrence, that it draws the sky and the universe closer, the heavens close enough to touch.

  One Response to “The Venda sky”

  1. Mashudo!! I love your writing!! You explain everything so well that we could almost be there with you! Mr Comeau has put your link to your journal in the first Roncalli newsletter so hopefully there will be many people following your amazing journey.


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