A Tororo Sabbath

Friday is a day of preparation in the Acts For Messiah home. Before the sun sets and the Sabbath peace settles over Tororo, there is cleaning, shopping and cooking to be done.

Early in the day, everyone thoroughly cleans the house and shelter, and the table is set with the finest dishes and silverware. Leah, Mary and Anna have become wonderful cooks and help the house mother, Helen, prepare the meal. The boys of the house go to the market and do all the shopping for all the meals. Erev Shabbat dinners usually consist of rice, cabbage, beans with onions and tomatoes and meat. While the women cook and set the table, one of the boys prepares the meat and cooks it on a charcoal stove. Anna says her favorite part of preparing for Sabbath is baking the traditional challah bread and setting the table.

Once all is prepared the family gathers around the Sabbath table - clean and dressed their best. Before eating, a blessing is said over the bread and passion fruit juice (wine is too expensive). The children have been reading the Torah portion all week long and come to the table ready to discuss questions. On Saturday, everybody relaxes with fruit and leftovers while reading through the haftarah and apostolic reading. They then discuss the connections between these passages and the Torah portion. Some of the children’s favorite things about the Sabbath are preparing the food, eating the food, sharing and studying the Torah, friendship and unity and being reminded of the Sabbath promise of things to come.