What the preacher wears in the Democratic Republic of Congo is very important to the Congolese. After all, everyone tries to have a new pair of shoes, a haircut, and a cell phone (though with no talk time) even as food & the necessities of life are scarce for most. I try to oblige expectations when I am visiting some place, but every once in a while, God chooses to challenge certain cultural hang-ups much to my chagrin.
I remember, while visiting my aunt and uncle in their mission work in India, accidentally packing my suitcase without removing my suit of clothes for the next day. My uncle departed with the luggage at 5a.m. on a Sunday morning while I awoke at 7a.m. to preach at a local congregation. Given the exotic nature of Indian clothing, I received a number of compliments from the brethren that morning on my red lined pajamas with the big white buttons.
I had no such luck in justifying my wardrobe while preaching at the Taba congregation in Lubumbashi, D.R.C. While in route to preach, my shirt sleeve was caught in the door of a departing taxi resulting in my new "tank-top" look for preaching attire. The congregation was shocked and appalled.
"But when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of it, they rent their garments, and sprang forth among the multitude, crying out"
Acts 14:14 ASV
At least I'm in good company.
Making fashion statements in Africa,
Brian, Sondra, Noah, and Bryson