Last Sunday was historic. One of the Sundays my village church and my church pastor especially will always remember.Githingi gave his life to Jesus.
This brings me to Githingi. Githingi is our local butcher. If you remember well, I come from one of those villages where each member is known by everyone. Those that own Shops and other businesses in the area are the affluent and most prominent. They have a special place in the leadership of the community. This is not, however, trying to say my village is somewhere in shags interior. Am just saying we are one of the few closely knit communities in the country.
Our village is developed. Muchina General Merchants is where we charge our mobile phones from. His is the only building with access to electricity. From our place, you don’t walk for long before you get to the tarmac. Just some miles. Fairly developed. C.D.F also saved us when they erected a big kifloodlight at the centre of the village. It lights our way up from stage to your home.
Githingi owns the only butchery in the vicinity. Thus he is well-known by every villager. Children to adults. Most of his clients are the business owners. They carry meat home almost daily. We the village members visit him during important days such as when Maraga is making a ruling. Or when Chebukati is announcing the winner. In other days, once in a while especially the few first days of the month when the pockets are itching, we treat ourselves. Our pastor was one of his prominent customers. Either he got free meat from Githingi ama he uses our tithes and offering to buy his chunk. We have not seen him there since Sunday though.
Another reason Githingi is well-known is due to his character. Part of the reason our pastor gives for visiting him often is that he has tried to win his soul to Christ.
Githingi has a crazy appetite for women. His energy for women is way above average. His taste makes it worse. He is inclined towards married women. Particularly those that seem to have added a little weight especially on the back side. This is Ironical going by his slim body and few pieces of flesh covering his bones. Rumour has it that when he takes off his shirt, his back seems to have a hump due to the visible bones protruding out. Some say he is H.I.V positive with his appetite for women and his wanting weight. He has been in several fights with the women’s husbands. He has a way to pull himself out of their grip. I think he pays up with chunks of meat.
Sunday. 10.30A.M. The praise and worship team is leading the congregation to Christ through their melodious voices and uplifting songs.
“Ihiga ria tene mah! Nigwihiitha hari weee….”
Wagaceru, our Pastors wife, is particularly moved. She is lifting her hands up. Tears rolling down her eyes as she cries out to the Lord. Mr Wangombe the choirmaster is seated. He seems deep in thought. Like he is thinking about his past week and his walk with the Lord. Mwangi’s voice can be heard from a far distance. He is praying for his wife. Does he have one? No. He is praying for one. Mwangi is a milk vendor at the village. At some points in his prayers, he throws in two-three words in the language of the spirit. People say he is not genuine with his praying in tongues. Ati he copies what he hears others say. He particularly turns up his volume when praying in tongues and comes down with his normal prayer for his wife.
Then the pastor stood up. Pastor Mahungu. Everyone went silent.
“Baba wa majeshi, Mungu wa Miungu…. Nitwacokia Ngaaatho……”
He led in his normal prayer. We are used to the same words every Sunday. Children actually pray together with him word by word. He has been our pastor for the last 13 years. Then he summoned us to sit down before pulling out his Bible to preach vehemently for the next one hour. People started opening up their bags taking out their notebooks. Murmurs here, Whispers there, Sounds of zips opening and closing.
All over sudden, it was all silent. Pin drop silence. I looked up from my Phone (I was using the Bible App LOL) to find out what exactly had gone wrong. Am not used to such kind of silence. Alas!! Githingi had come out of nowhere. He walked up the aisle all the way to where Pastor Mahungu the Rt Reverend was. He was whispering something to Him. The church was curious. The village sinner had come to church. Men were silently pulling up their necks checking on the women’s side searching for the whereabouts of their women. Their wives. Some women were hiding their faces. Others were visibly worried. Then the pastor started speaking….
” Halleluyah!! Today is a great day…”
Phewks!! The women looked up.
Pastor Mahungu looked happy. Excited is an understatement.
“Praise the Lord. Good news comes to Our church today. Our brother Githingi wants to give his life to Christ….”
Ululations started from the back. Jubilation everywhere. Left-right and Centre. The men were specifically overjoyed from the noises that could be heard.
“Heh Atreast WaKamau wakwa niekuhorera. Nithengiu mwathani!!” (Heh! Thank God my Wakamau will now calm down) Mathenge wa makara was overheard saying.The choirmaster started a song from the back.
” Kuna kitu leo nyumbani mwa baba” everyone joined in.
The men walked to the front hugged him welcoming him to the Kingdom of Light. It was merry. The youth joined the singers at the front in song and Dance. Joy filled the air. The next one hour was song and dance.
The pastor decided that was enough for the day. We needed not the word of God today and that the service would end with a prayer for Githingi and him testifying of how he had left the kingdom of the dark.
Rt Pastor Mahungu led in the prayer. Church members Said Amen in agreement after every of the pastor’s statement. Some, Amen” Some “Ndio baba.” “Sande yes” was Mwami’s kibwagizo. After a 15mins Long prayer, It was Githingis time to testify:
“Bwana Yesu asifiwe, Kwa majina naitwa Githingi na leo nimemkubali bwana Yesu kama mwokozi wa maisha yangu…”
“Lakini kabla niketi, niko tu na confession kadhaa ambazo nahisi moyoni siwezikosa kuguzia”
“Sitataja wamama wa kanisa hii nyinyi wote mnajua huo upande wangu na umepita kutoka leo. Wazee mjihisi sasa salama kwasababu mimi ni kiumbe kipya.” He started.
“Nataka kusema nimekuwa miaka kadhaa sasa nikiwauzia nyama ya punda Monday. Tuesday nilikuwa naleta nyama ya dogi. Zile mbwa hupotea huku mimi ndiye nmechukua kadhaa ata ile iligongwa na gari last week.”
Pin drop silence. The pastor started speaking in tongues…
“RIMASHAKANTALABBAZIKANTA…..” Githingi went on unmoved.
“Ire mutura nyi hupenda pare, mrisikia paka ya wakiragu iripotea, mingi huwa ya paka. Ndio maana huwa mnaskia ikiwa na chumvi natural hivyo…”
“SHAKANTALALALAZIKANTOROBOO….” The pastor went on. By now it was all silence in the church with most women holding their hands close to the heart…
“Ningependa kuendelea wandugu na wadada lakini kwa ajiri ya muda sitaendelea kuhusu zile nyama za frog nawauziaga kama gizzard…. Lakini kutoka leo nimebadilika ntaanza kuleta ngombe na mbuzi juu sikuwa nazo kwa stock yangu. Asanteni”
The Church was silent for the next one minute or so. Githingi sat, said his last prayer and left. Mama Msoh a vicious customer to Githingi was next after him. She left holding her stomach. One by one people left. Visibly disturbed by the testimony.
The pastor was still at the front when everyone left. Still speaking in tongues…. I felt his pain especially since I used to see him at the butchery almost daily. When I left, He was still praying.
I visited the butchery Yesterday. Deserted cant really describe the place that once was the heartbeat of our village. Since Monday, he tells me he has made sales to only two customers. I had to buy something to promote his business. I gifted it to Kiarie.
“Rakini Gusto me sijali. Nirigive roho yangu kwa Mungu na yeye Shetani akaingia. Haya mambo ni Majaribu tu yataisha,” Githingi told me.
I nodded in agreement as I left the premise towards the village mama mboga.