Fasting Prayer

It is just coming up 5:30 in the evening on Tuesday here (10:30 am in Dallas). It is raining at the moment, cooling the air but complicating the trek to the "facilities". Supper was a bit earlier this evening after the diocesan day of fasting and prayer. We are called upon for a complete fast (not even water) between 6 am and 4 pm. We were to gather at Freedom Square, but shifted to the market for the sake of shade. There were a hundred or so present there. Others were within earshot of the sound system, and parishioners across the diocese gathered at their parish churches at the same time. The call came in response to the continuing "insecurity" in the nation and the difficult reality of reduced harvests of late. A number of crops, including the daily standard cassava plants, have been decimated by pests, weather, or unknown causes. The program had 14 different items, centering around four teaching/sermon sessions. Each followed by an associated time of prayer led by different people. Mine was the 4th of these and was "The Power of Prayer". Veronica was the appointed "pray-er" for the session, with the focus of the nation and it's leaders. Bishop Kamani rounded off the day with some summarizing comments and led us in prayer. We finished almost an hour ahead of schedule, but at perfect timing, as a strong wind arose just as he concluded, driving everyone to head for home ahead of it and the accompanying storm. The shelter for the day was courtesy of a couple of big mango trees. As we left, the wind knocked several down, and I now have the experience of being struck by falling mangos.  Tomorrow we are going separate ways, as Veronica is going to spend time sharing with the clergy spouses and I will be visiting Madebe. It is also scheduled to be our last full day in Ibba.