(Source: Houston Chronicle Jan. 9, 2009. Photo by Joy Sewing)
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA — The auditorium of the Soweto YMCA, where Faithways Community Church holds its weekly services, was cold and drafty but filled with a congregation bundled for warmth.
As if a spirit moved across the massive room, voices of the parishioners, mostly women, swelled into a high-pitch shrill — an African call of excitement.
On this winter day, more than 40 members of Houston’s Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church, including the Rev. Marcus D. Cosby and his wife, Audrey, were in attendance for a Sunday morning service. (The seasons are opposite in South Africa, so while it was cold there the summer sun was baking in Houston.)
The delegation made its way down the main aisle. Some received gentle handshakes; others were greeted with soft, comforting words from the Soweto congregation:
“Welcome home,” they said.