I had the privilege of spending Christmas morning in a Gourma church in a village about an hour away from Niamey on the way to Burkina Faso. My neighbors work in this village amongst the Gourma people. They always come back into town with exciting stories about how God is at work in their area so it was really a joy to be able to see this church that is full of young people who are believing and trusting in God. Christmas is celebrated in so many different ways but perhaps one thing that Believers around the world do in celebration is sing. The Gourma love to sing and dance! I got a little bit on video but I've given up on trying to load it. So pictures it is! The whole congregation was singing in a kind of call and response style. In this picture, you can see one woman twisting and throwing a calabash with cowrie shells attached into the air to make music.
Later the women's choir all sang. They were all wearing their Christmas cloth and matching shirts. Apparently in this village, polos are all the rage! :) You can see that in this picture of the Youth Choir who
really get into the dancing. They danced so hard that most of them were sweating profusely by the end.
It was a very Gourma Christmas! I'll admit that most of the time church is pretty difficult because it's hard work to listen and to understand what is going on. In my western mentality, I'm very tied to certain things. Time, order and variety being foremost among those things. Things that aren't so important in this context. As I sat there surrounded by young moms, peeing babies, restless children and dancing men I was challenged by the thought that nothing kept these Believers from worshiping God TOGETHER!