Selina, became affectionately known as Giraffe Lady when we ran some training in her village a couple of months ago. This was because of the large bold Giraffe print chitenge she wore. In her community there was initially lots of suspicion about the work that we wanted to begin. It is a common accusation that we are engaging in witchcraft or even satanism. This is all because of the trait that all of us have to demonise something that we have not encountered before.
Selina came across some fellow villagers in a far off village called Katuba. They had heard rumours of the ‘programme’, what we know as Life! Groups. Selina was able to explain what was actually going on. “That is good” they declared as they listened.
These particular people had stopped going to church. They felt that their particular church caused too many problems. The pastor was extremely selfish and just tried to look after himself. A trait, that is definitely not Christian. In some ways they had simply become discouraged.
There is now a rudimentary group meeting in this village. They’ve had to grapple with some questions. “Is this a Church?” one of them asked. Selina’s answer was a definite, No! Life! Groups are meant to be Christian groups that help the community to know and love God, and to help the community practically. They are not a replacement for church. This way we can encourage and unify the village community, not create more division, infighting and problems.
Sooner or later our friends will start going back to Church, because of a rumour, a woman called Selina and a Life! Group that meets in their village.