In the past three months my family and I have only attended a church, in the traditional sense, once. Some of you who know us might be thinking “whaaaat?” Knowing us, I would question it too. When we moved, I thought for sure we’d need to find a church to call home. We went into this prepared, knowing that “shopping” for a church family can be challenging. Bekkie and I are looking for a community, depth and scholarly information in the messages, good praise music, as well as an accessible location and a good children’s program the kids want to attend. All this while aligning our family and core spiritual beliefs, and as an added challenge we need services in English! Needless to say, it’s been a rough go.
But that doesn’t mean we’ve stopped practicing our faith. Since we haven’t been going to a Sunday church service and I haven’t been attending my weekly men’s group, you might assume that we have become heathens. So far, the opposite has become true. In the last three months I have had to rely on my family and my faith more than I ever had to in the states. I find myself in prayer more, and I read the Bible daily. The biggest change has been a positive one that neither Bekkie nor I saw coming… family communication and time together. We still do our nightly family prayers and we’ve added a daily devotional devotional time with the boys too!
Last weekend we attended a home church. This “church” was filled with a variety of people, from a variety of countries like Norway, Germany, and the United States as well as ages from adults, teens, to elementary aged children. The home church felt safe of judgement and relaxed and inviting and most of all filled with people eager to talk and pray and better Berlin with a Christ focused agenda. We’re meeting other believers, like ourselves and, not only learning from one another, but talking about how we can serve our community. Last weekend, we spent time praying over the refugee situation, discussing what we can do to help, and developing a plan to pull it off.
In all, this experience has offered the opportunity to “use” what we have been hearing/learning from the pulpit or in our small groups and put it into practice. In my opinion, strengthening my faith and our family.