When I set out for the summer, I knew I wanted to attend church on Sundays as much as possible. I asked my host what churches were in the area and did some googling. This morning I attended Restore Community Church, which is typically held in the local school. It’s about a five minute walk from my homestay, but when I got there I thought it was odd that there weren’t very many cars in the lot. There was a lady at the entrance talking to people in cars and then the cars would leave. I took a deep breath, sometimes approaching strangers is a scary thing for me, and asked her if there was church. Turns out this Sunday they were having their service in several different locations. The church had split up into areas and were having small groups in order to build community. Perfect. I like the foundation of the idea because it is very important to have Christian friends who can support you during the week. I also like the way she put it, “we’re gonna pack up and fellowship and take Jesus with us.”
When I got to the community center (I rode with this lady and her daughter), I was greeted by another lady and taken in to the main room and introduced to more people. It was nice time. Their focus was on building community while also inviting people who might not normally come to a church service. The preacher did not give a sermon, in fact I didn’t meet him until I was eating lunch. We played some games and a couple of the ladies gave a devotional/testimony. I really liked what the lady was telling us. She made a metaphor with the game snakes and ladders and then told us about some of her snakes and ladders during her life. When she told the snakes though she always related it back to how God had used that hard time to bring about something good. That’s how we get around hard situations, by finding where God is working in them.
The thing I really appreciated about the church was their willingness to outreach. I figured out fairly quickly who were the regular church attenders and who were the guests. The event had been advertised in the community center so people who come into the center during the week came in today as well. The preacher was telling me that it was a good opportunity to talk to people who wouldn’t normally feel comfortable coming to church. While I was sitting there eating lunch, I people watched and noticed that the regular attenders were very vigilant about spreading out and talking to people. They were also very pointed about asking about questions that brought the conversation back to Jesus. Overall, I think I liked the church, and next Sunday I’m going to go back and partake in a full service.