It's Sunday, so this morning I went to church. At the church I attend, they began a new series today on "What is the church?" and today's lesson is that the church is a family. I have to be honest, I found this to be a little ironic considering I have kind of been feeling like a little boat lost at sea, these past few weeks going to this church. It's not that there is anything wrong with the church, in fact I keep going back because the worship is amazing and I find the preachers to be both God honoring and engaging, but it's also HUGE, with it's 4 services, and thus hard to really get to know people (that could also be because I'm one of the very few "gringos" who attend).
In the two months that I have attended services at this church I have only "gotten to know"...and I say that in brackets for a purpose... two families, both of who I met before I started attending the church and both of whom I almost never see in service. Because of that, it's kind of hard to get the sense that this particular church is my family. Add to that the fact that in 8 weeks I'll be leaving the country to head back home to life in the states, and well, yeah it's hard to view the people I sit in this church with as more than "distant cousins", as opposed to my "brothers and sisters".
With that in mind, on my walk home from church, I started thinking about my home church...about the people I know pretty well and consider my friends there and even those people who have joined the church since I left. Somehow my home church feels like my family, even across all these miles. Sure there have been times that members of my church have annoyed/ frustrated me and times I found it hard to continually meet up with them...but truth be told this is also exactly how I feel about my real family at times, so that only seems to confirm the point!
My home church has been pretty amazing in their support of me financially and spiritually, on this missions field. I never have to worry about whether or not they are praying for me, or whether or not my support checks will come in, I just have confidence that they are and they will, and I've never been disappointed. This adventure has been so different from what I expected, but I've also grown in ways that I never would have expected. And had my home church not "sent me out" and let me go, I wouldn't be able to return to them in two months, with the deeper sense of connection and faith I have now! In a way, they are like my parents and my siblings who had to release me and trust that God would not only use me, but that he would also take care of me. Like I feel about my real family, I hope that during this time away I've made my church family proud!