Disclaimer: the church services here at Kibuye are conducted entirely in Kirundi. So we don't really know what exactly is said or prayed. This is what we can figure out.
Church starts around 9:30am on Sundays. Most of us arrive closer to 10am, at which time most of the church has not yet arrived. Seating is self-assigned on wooden benches without backs. Interestingly, the benches fill from front to back of the building, and people pack in pretty tight on each bench. Why don't we fill in from the front this way in Michigan?
Singing is usually accompanied by an electric piano and by a drum made out of a huge metal barrel. We are starting to pick up some of the songs that are sung frequently, and we have Kirundi songbooks as well. We look forward to the day when we can understand the meaning of the songs - I especially wonder about the song during which everyone dances around with boxes or books on their heads.
No children's program here, so some of the young kids and some parents slip out of church after the offering and before the sermon. The service usually ends between 12 and 1:00pm, and then we shake several hands along the short walk back home.
Sitting in church, not understanding more than a few words per sentence, I like to think about the universal church praising God in many different countries and in many different languages.
May the peoples praise you, O God;
may all the peoples praise you.
May the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you rule the peoples justly
and guide the nations of the earth.