John Magida, at far right, enjoying an in-depth bible study

When someone loses a child here, it is customary for friends and relatives to return to the bereaved parent’s home at some later date.

Such was the case last Friday, when church leaders in the Kijima cluster invited the missionaries to join them in comforting John Magida, one of our most influential church leaders here, who sadly lost his son on New Year’s Eve. Together with about twenty other church leaders, we provided comfort in the traditional manner here–by sitting all day with the bereaved, eating together, being together. Being fully present.

But being present with these other leaders was even richer than usual, as we engaged in conversations about the bible, about ministry, about spirituality. One simple question, “what is a sacrament?”, led us to a two-hour discussion about holiness, christian leadership, confession of sins, funerals, baptism, the Lord’s Supper, prayer–a discussion that led us throughout the scriptures–leading us all to a richer understanding of the concept, “Priesthood of all Believers”.

And it is humble leaders like John and those with him, subsistence farmers who sacrificially serve the Lord without a salary, that minister to all those around them. They have received great comfort, and now share this comfort freely.