A while back, I promised y’all I would try to share stories of my communities with you via this blog. In all honesty, I think I haven’t done a very good job of that. In order to make up for it, I want to tell you about the Eersterivier Lutheran Church community.

I first met some of the Eersterivier community in September on a Praise & Worship trip. They were friendly and welcoming and made me feel at home immediately. I have since seen them at various church events throughout my time, and always look forward to hearing their choir sing.

I just recently had the pleasure of spending a weekend with them, and it was awesome. I got to play with some adorable children, attend a Sunday School class in Afrikaans that I mostly understood (huge accomplishment), worship with them, be a part of family dinners, and lots of time spent in community.  I have one big conclusion about this community that you need to know: they rock.

In so many ways, they epitomize what church can be. I still can’t keep straight who is related by blood in the church, but it doesn’t matter- they’re all family. They don’t have a big fancy church building or instruments to accompany their singing, but they have a community of believers who care for each other and welcome outsiders. And, to be honest, there is no need for instruments when the singing is always in four-part harmony of beautiful, strong, clear voices.

The Eersterivier community welcomed me to worship by saying, “Abby, we don’t have gold or silver. But what we do have is faith.” In the future, I hope they edit this to say, “But what we do have is faith, love, food, laughter, music, history, hope, and some more faith. Welcome to the family.”

I am so thankful for the Eersterivier community, their welcome of a foreign outsider into their midst, and the time I have gotten to spend with them. 

Below are various pictures of the Eerste Rivier community from the last 8 months:

 

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The Eerste Rivier choir at an event in February.

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Members of the Eerste Rivier congregation at the inauguration event for the new Brass Band in the Western Cape!

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A photo from the Sunday School class I was able to attend in the sanctuary of the Eersterivier church. 

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We had our own little brass band practice on a Sunday afternoon! Turns out, living with brass players my entire life does not translate into natural talent. By the end of the day, we could all play a scale! 

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