So amidst all the chaos and confusion that you read about in part 1, here is the good part of the struggles we’ve faced so far: The body of Christ. Now for anyone who isn’t a Christian- please don’t stop reading because I’ve decided to use some vernacular jargon.
We have been blessed to have an incredible support system here. From the moment we got here, we have met many people who have been so willing to help us. The believers that God has surrounded us with have been so helpful. We heard a sermon before we left the states about being willing to use whatever God has placed in your hands for his glory, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem. For Moses that was a stick to lead his people out of Egypt, for David it was a sling and a few stones to defeat the bully Philistines, for the people here it has been simple things like offering us a place outside of school to use the internet, or offering to cook us a meal, inviting us places and offering to show us around. Sometimes it has been more complicated things like calling the internet people a million times to try and figure out what was going on or translating for us on the phone because we have no idea how to communicate what we need. People have simply used the gifts that they have to meet the needs they see. The people here have been used to bless us greatly. It has been an absolute encouragement to see the body of Christ operating as it is supposed to. 1 Corinthians 12 talks about how each believer has been given a different gift and that when those different gifts are used as God intended, He is tremendously glorified through them.
In Acts 2, we see a picture of the early church. The Bible says (about the first believers), “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as they had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and they ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
And again in Acts 4 we read, “All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. With great power, the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. There were no needy persons among them, For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.”
This is the attitude we have seen from the people here. These are people who not only have met our outward needs but have also refreshed our spirits when we’ve been together. These people have accepted us with open arms and open hearts. They have welcomed us into their homes, their groups and their activities. They have made us feel like we are a part of a much bigger family- which we are. So, even though we have been hounded on every side by difficulties and hardships, we have been even more blessed by the people God has surrounded us with. The fellowship that we are a part of has honestly kept us sane. When we meet on Sundays, there is an intimacy and a transparency there that lets us struggle but encourages us and refreshes our spirits enough to get us through the next week.
I personally have been blessed to attend a women’s conference here as well being invited to join a book study on a great book called A Mary Spirit. I am being poured into on so many levels and I have met so many different people who have been so wonderful. There is a closer intimacy here- the expat community is closely knit, and the Christian expat community is even closer knit. So, even though we still desperately need your prayers and we hope that you think of us from time to time, we are well taken care of here and our hearts and minds are undergoing a transformation that can only come from getting to the ends of ourselves and leaning hard into the power of God.