These are my stories.
(Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3) (Part 4) (Part 5)
A new home?
The time came for us to leave our Heart Church behind. I followed that boy-now-man to the other side of the country, this time with a child in tow and another just beginning inside.
But as fortune would have it, our Heart Church had a sister church in our new city.
* * *
It started off so hopeful. The people seemed welcoming. The preaching was the same expository preaching we were accustomed too, shared with the same depth and background and context and language study and all the rest. It was even Newcomer's Week! We were treated to a lovely lunch, given a tour of the grounds, greeted by several people, asked about ourselves and our background and everything else. We left that day feeling that this church, despite being much larger than we were used to, could be our new church home.
* * *
The following week wasn't Newcomer's week. No one spoke to us at all.
* * *
We persisted, hoping that in time we would find community. We were happily surprised to find old friends there, another young family from our Heart Church. Our toddlers became close friends. We spent time at each other's homes. They felt like a lifeline in this sea of silent strangers.
Our friends became both host and leaders for one of the church's small groups. Would you like to join us? Of course, yes, we'll be there.
Each Wednesday evening we would gather in their home, eat together, pray together, study the Bible chapter by chapter, worship and discuss and fellowship together.
It was here at last that we found true community, people bound not by some common age or stage in life, but rather by love for each other and love for our Saviour. Our children played at our feet, our babies nursed at our breasts, and together we poured over the Word of God.
This felt like what church was meant to be.
To be continued...