200 clergy, lay leaders, Mothers Union representatives, congregations from the 70 churches in Gambella gathered at the Gambella Anglican Centre for two days of business, worship and teaching.
As our churches in Gambella are so remote and living conditions are hard, it is difficult for clergy and lay people to come together. The annual Area Assembly is important because it brings leaders together, to pray together, learn together, and grow to understand each other better. Please see below Bishop Grant LeMarquand’s report for the meeting.
As part of the Assembly, churches presented dramas of Biblical stories. The audience hushed as ‘Jesus’ walked in, resplendent in wig and re-purposed Mothers’ Union uniform. In quiet solemnity, the crowd followed Jesus, holding wounded heads bound in cloth, walking with shortened and twisted limbs, and otherwise looking generally woe-begone. With quiet majesty, Jesus healed all. As all sat down, one of the disciples approached the Lord, clearly explaining in Opo that the crowd needed to eat. A regal gesture from Jesus sent him back to the crowd, where 5 small loaves and 2 real fish were produced in hushed reverence. As Jesus lifted the basket high in mute thanksgiving, the plastic bag under the loaves and fish was ripped away, revealing the hidden bounty of bread rolls underneath. Electrifyingly, the crowd leapt to their feet, their cries of joy erupting from the absolute silence like a foretaste of resurrection! As one man, they dove in a free for all scrum, loaves of bread flying everywhere, mouths full of laughter and food – real joy… and really funny!