All month staying in a village called Wanyange, I’ve been hearing a mysterious playing of the Titanic song wafting up to our place on the breeze. It was canned, as if a midi file, or a music box, just the simple notes, no voice, no instruments. Frankly, it’s annoying. And the high notes would come to us off-key. I would always look at Gabi like, “Where in the world is that coming from!” She said it was probably someone’s ringtone. But it was so loud and sang out to us so often! I said it sounded like an ice cream truck, but we laughed at the thought of such a thing in the middle of nowhere in Uganda…
The other day walking down the motorway to find a boda, I heard it again and thought, “Ooh! Maybe I’ll finally solve the mystery of the awfully played Titanic song!” And presently a young guy on a bike came riding toward us with an ordinary cooler tied to his handlebars and a sign on it saying, “ICE CREAM” :)
There’s a chapel on Racham’s compound, just in the other wing of the house. A faithful congregation meet there nearly everyday, at various times of day. I have woken at 4am some nights to hear them still singing and clapping and praying. At the beginning, the pastor used to knock on our door every night to pray over us. And often there are little groups of people praying together in the garden of an afternoon. I love that this compound is a place of prayer.
My last night there as I finished a call from Charles and locked up the lounge, I was struck by how loudly they were holding their service, and at a quarter past midnight. As I walked up the porch to our bedroom, my hair wanted to stand on end. They weren’t just praying, but shouting, wailing, moaning, and even screaming! And the sounds weren’t coming from the chapel, but from the darkness of the garden! Gabi got out of bed when I came in to have a look out and investigate, and we stood on the porch straining our eyes to see what was happening. There seemed to be a group of people marching or dancing around a fire in the garden. We knew they were praying, but the sounds they made were bone-chilling!! And, on my last night with Racham, that’s what I fell asleep to; the moaning, wailing, and screaming of a strange midnight prayer meeting in the dark garden!
Oh Africa, indeed!