A couple of people have asked me questions about the weekly braai here at Pangani. And I'm finally answering! The braai is the current form of NC's "regular God-centered inclusive-of-others ministry together." In other words, it's what we do together on a regular basis to intentionally invite others outside of NC to come along and experience & know God better.
Braai means barbecue in Afrikaans--and that's pretty much what we do. At about 3:30pm, people start arriving, and we fire up the braai. Each of the NC-ers brings a side dish to share, and there's also the amazing freshly baked braai bread. Mmmm. When the coals are ready, we braai the meat (everyone brings their own). Afrikaners really like meat. Lots of meat. We embrace this aspect of the culture here:
As we braai and eat, there's a lot of time to hang out with each other as well as get to know the guests that have come for the week. We usually have a pretty eclectic crowd, with a random mix of Americans, white South Africans from Pretoria North, poor blacks from the townships, international students from the universities nearby, and the list goes on! Here is a (not-so-eclectic picture) of the hanging out time.
After the meal, we gather for a time of connecting with God. Our "God time" looks different each week. Last week, Luc led us as we each shared a song that helps us especially to connect with ourselves and with God. Last night, Daleen led a "lectio divina" (or spiritual reading) on Psalm 46. This part of the evening is designed to provide a way for each person to connect with God regardless of where they are spiritually--believing, seeking, or maybe even just here for the food. =) After the God time, we finish off the evening with coffee & tea, and usually dessert as well. And there you have our braai!
Right now, we're taking a closer look at the braai and how it works as our "regular God-centered inclusive-of-others ministry together." We may be changing things up a bit as the year goes on. Please be in prayer for us as we seek how best to do this ministry together and invite others into what God is doing in our midst.