W’apow mu e,
Wow! What a day!
All things considered, the funeral went well. We got to the church about 8:00. The funeral was supposed to start at 9:00. About 8:30, Joe and Dan went to try to hurry the family along. 9:00 came and went; we were still waiting on the body and the family to arrive. About 9:40, they brought the body. Most of the family had arrived by 9:50. So, we got started. We ran out of room inside. We had over 200 people inside and ended up with more than that outside. I had our kids move to the floor beside me to free up a couple more seats. I just sat at the keyboard the whole time. The songs and testimonies went well. I had my clarinet on a chair next to me. Danny was getting a little antsy on the floor. So, I moved my clarinet and had him sit next to me. We had explained to them about the casket and that it was just Brother Blay’s earthly body in the coffin. It did not register with Danny until the sermon started. He started sobbing saying that he missed Brother Blay. I told him that he will see him again in Heaven; he made me cry too.
About halfway through the sermon, a dump truck load of drunk people showed up. (That is not just a play on words. It really was a dump truck full of people!) A couple of our men were outside to keep people in order. They shut the gates and would not let the truck enter. The people in the truck were whooping and hollering. Evans was preaching. So, Joe stepped outside and shut the door to try to block out the noise a little. He said that he walked right up to the guy who was the ring leader of those in the dump truck and talked to him very calmly. Joe spoke to him in Fante and asked them to show respect for the family and not to interrupt the service any further. Then, Joe turned to an older man who was there for the funeral and asked him to please ask “his sons” to keep quiet. Age is really respected here. Joe said that the people in the truck got very quiet after that. The truck backed up and just sat there and waited until the service was over. Joe said that our church people were amazed at how he handled the situation. We narrowly avoided a riot. Many times windows are broken and other such things during funerals here.
After the funeral service was over, the kids and I went home in a taxi. There was a traffic jam on the road going out to our house. Martin rode in the taxi with us. Gilbert said, “I think we should just get out and walk” when he saw that the traffic was not moving. Bonnie disagreed. I thought maybe it was because she was too tired and did not want to walk. But, she said, “All of those black people will be saying, ‘Brony, brony, brony!’ all the way home, and I don’t want to hear that right now.” “Brony” is the Fante word for white man, and she had already heard that all morning. : )
Joe went on to the cemetery for the graveside service. It got rather wild at the cemetery. Joe said that the Africans are deathly afraid of cemeteries. So, they act out to try to hide their fear. The people from the dump truck were throwing rocks at each other. Joe said that as he was speaking, he deflected one rock with his hand. Then, when he turned to walk away, he got hit with a good-sized rock in the back. The people who saw it happen were very upset that the rock throwers hit the pastor.
Many people heard a clear presentation of the gospel today. That’s the important thing. The Blay family has also been invited to attend church tomorrow. They usually have a “thanksgiving” service the day after the funeral. Please pray that we will see souls saved as a result and that some of his family members will begin coming to church.
One of the teachers who rides to school with Joe and the kids every day called Joe this morning and said that her son was very sick and was in the hospital. After the funeral, Joe and Dan went to visit Renard. He has malaria.
Joe got home about 4:00 and was all done in. We went to the Lebanese restaurant to get supper and brought the food home. Right as we got home, the power went off for load shedding.
The kids and I played Danny’s new game tonight after the kids did their homework.
Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie