We have now been here for almost a month. Many things come to mind as I reflect back on what has happened over the past few weeks. We have begun learning about theology, serving in the church, Paul’s life, the Covenanters and how they died for their faith. Still there is so much more to learn and everyday God is opening my eyes to new truths. But what I wanted to focus on is the community of believers here, and how much of an impact it has had on me so far.
When the plane landed in Glasgow in the wee hours of the morning it began to set in that I was actually here, and I began to worry. Would I be able to make it in a different county for four months? Would I think of this place as home and not just as a long trip? Would I be able to make friends and feel connected?
These fears were quickly silenced. From the first day here we were shown love and hospitality. Our first day we were rather dazed and sleepy. We were invited over to have tea at Beth’s flat along with Stephen, Brenda, and the other girls who had already arrived. It was such a blessing to be welcomed into someone’s home and be fed real food after having traveled for roughly twenty hours. Even though we were tired the company was wonderful, and we felt as though we were eating with friends who we had know for much longer then a few hours.
Our first Sunday at church we were welcomed by so many wonderful people, who were so excited to meet us. They greeted us with smiles, hugs, and some had even already learned our names! As we sat in on the morning prayer meeting we were prayed for by name in such a way that it moved several of us to tears because of how much we could tell that these people cared about us, even though they had only just meet us.
Every Sunday we have lunch with a different family, this is such a huge blessing since we are in charge of our own food otherwise. Our first week we were not sure how it would be to eat with people we did not know. It turned out to be one of the most encouraging afternoons. We sat around and talked for a long time, sharing stories about our lives, what it is like growing up in different countries, and we were able to ask our questions about cultural differences. It felt like being with family. When we left and went home I felt so encouraged and joyful.
Since that first week the relationships have only grown and gotten deeper. We are now involved in Kids Club, and getting to know the kids in the church has been so wonderful. They are always wanting to show us what they can do, and they make me so happy to see how everyone here watches our for all the young people. We have also started to get to know the youth and young adults. This past Friday some of the CY (Covenanter Youth) went out to Nando’s and enjoyed yummy food and fellowship. There were many stories shared and much laughter. While it is a close knit community they have been so willing to include us in the activities, never once have I felt out of the loop. Someone is always willing to explain what they are talking about, or what different words mean.
Looking back it is hard to believe that we have only been here for a month. It feels like we have been here so much longer. This feel like home, I have family here. I realized that this is my family, through Christ we are all united as brothers and sisters. That feeling is very evident here in the church in Airdrie. The best way I can think to describe it is that it feels like a family reunion; some people know each other better then others, some are more closely related, there are people of all ages, but we all share the same roots. It is a glimpse of what Heaven will look like one day when we all come together to worship and praise our great Heavenly Father!