09 November, 2014

Feeling at home

Today we went to church, something that's pretty normal for us. What's not been normal of late, has been attending church without our "missionary hats" on. What's not normal is feeling at home in any church.
This is where we've got our suitcases unpacked this
year. So thankful that it is less than 10 minutes to our
new home church. That we really are "local" to church.
It's made it so much easier to get involved in the
various activities I've mentioned in this post.

We were at our new "home church". Last year we changed our membership to a new church (read some of the story here). We weren't in the country at the time, so it was a decision we had to make while being absent. Therefore one of our goals for this time in Australia has been to get to know our new home church better.

That wasn't an easy goal as we've often been unable to attend worship on Sundays because we're at other churches with our "missionary hats" on. However, we've been involved in mid-week meetings as we could. For example, David's been going to the Tuesday night Bible study and I've been at the Friday morning women's Bible study. We've taken our boys as regularly as we could to Kids Club and Youth Group on Friday nights and our older son to the teens Bible study on Thursday. Once a month men's meet/meat night has been a favourite with my guys too.

Added to our already busy schedule sometimes it's felt too much to do these things. However today as I watched my boys interact freely with other children and teens at church I knew it's been worth it. Today, when we were greeted by name by numerous people, I knew it was worth it. Today we didn't hang awkwardly around the edges wondering who to talk to. All of us had people to easily talk to. We came away from church feeling like we'd been "at home".

Answer to prayer, that's what I'd call this. And I'm elated!

To add to that elation is one lady who came up to me and thanked me. I'd met her a couple of months ago at a mid-week meeting associated with a different church where I was talking about Japan. We happened to end up doing the dishes together afterwards. She and her husband hadn't been attending church lately, "between churches" I think probably describes it. I mentioned our home church and encouraged her to try it out. She has been going (I presume with her husband) to our new home church and she's so thankful to be back in regular attendance. As far as I'm concerned that conversation over dishes a couple of months ago was God-ordained, I had no idea that what I said was just the right thing at the right time. I'm so glad to be around to hear the end result, though.

This morning I felt as though I was overflowing with joy. I'm fond of saying that God loves to answer our prayers. I'm so thankful for the blessings He's showered upon us and that we're experiencing now.

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