04 August, 2013

No longer homeless

Nearly three months ago I wrote here about our Australian home church and how their decision to merge with another church and change denominations forced upon us a difficult decision. It was hard, and one reason was because we knew that whichever way we went, we'd have regrets.

Some special ladies from Grace Christian Church as
they farewelled me three years ago to come back
to Japan. 
Our decision, in the end, was to stay with the denomination where we have many connections and many supporters.

That meant that we needed to transfer our membership to a different church. Thankfully during our home assignment three years ago we spent some time with another church in our denomination, Grace Christian Church in Redbank Plains, Ipswich. This morning they publicly announced that we have now become members of their church.

There is an element of sadness about leaving the church that we've called home for so many years, but nonetheless, we prayed long about this and believe this is what God would have us do.

So we move forward. In under 12 months we'll be back in Australia doing our regular Home Assignment. It will obviously be a time of connecting more deeply with our new home church.

One of the people who commented on my original post about this matter mentioned that the deeper issue is about "What is our real home?" And that cross-cultural workers struggle with this question. It is therefore good to remember, that though we now again have an official church home in Australia, our real home isn't anywhere on this earth.

We look forward with hope, because we know the one, true Rock.
As much as we don't like to admit it, any home we
have here on earth is just as fragile and temporary
as our tent or the Cherry Blossoms on the tree we
camped under in March.
Psalm 18:2 
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;    my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
    my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
and Psalm 18:31-33
For who is God besides the Lord?    And who is the Rock except our God?It is God who arms me with strength    and keeps my way secure.He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;    he causes me to stand on the heights.
While we'll never have a true home here on earth, one that is 100% secure and perfect, we'll always have God, our secure refuge who's preparing a home for us after this temporary one is gone.

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