In the previous post I shared on the first of the two communities I was supposed to visit on Sunday (http://bhubesi.blogspot.com/2016/10/where-are-you-bishop.html).
We had started Mass half an hour late and we finished by the time I should have been starting the next one.
While the first one was "easy" to be found, I needed someone to guide me to the second one. Fr Mabuza had written: "It will be at St Paul's primary school at Lukhula". "St Paul's" and "Primary school" remained in my mind.
Though late I left with two members of the community who would lead me to the place. We were there in a few minutes. Pointing to a church, one of them said: "that is the place". The school was next to the church and I never thought twice about it.
Got off the car and went to see if there was anyone in the church. A good number of children, young people and adults were there. They could not believe their eyes: "the bishop is here!". I could not believe mine. Lunch had been prepared for everyone.
One of the members of the youth explained: "we chose this day to thank our parents and grandparents for everything they had done for us and for helping us grow in faith. We want this community to grow"
I said a few words and led a prayer. We then thank God for the food and those who made it possible for all of us. Lunch started!
During lunch, one by one sat down next to me for a photo. There was great joy in everyone for that unexpected informal time together.
It had never clicked to me that someone said: "This Church is called St Alexis" until one of the people who led me there said: "Bishop, we are at the wrong place. This is not St Paul's... We are so sorry!". Indeed they were, but not those at St Alexis who kept laughing and celebrating the mistake.
We still went to St Paul's. Just in case. Just that it was too late and the people had gone. Being my visits "unannounced" they were not expecting even the priest to be there on that Sunday. Next time.