Archive for the ‘cresheim valley church’ Category
Many of you will know that this hasn’t been the easiest of summers for me, with various friends and family suffering in different ways while I’ve been thousands of miles away here in the US. But throughout this time I’ve been incredibly grateful for the love and kindness of so many people here who have prayed for me and helped me and hugged me when I’ve needed it. Just over a week ago our new intern preached a sermon about the church being a place where we bear each other’s burdens. He suggested that this involved four things: knowing one another well enough to recognise those burdens, praying for one another, encouraging one another with the words of Christ, and offering practical help. As I began to cry during the final hymn, it was a great comfort to know that our church is a place where it’s okay to do that. After the service all four of those things happened – someone even went to fetch tissues, and more than one person offered financial help if I decided to go home!
It’s almost exactly a year since I first arrived in the US. Back then, I was scared of this place with all these new and strange people with new and strange ways of doing things. I was scared of becoming a PhD student and scared of taking the language placement exams. Now it is, almost, home. The people aren’t new (though some are still strange!) – they’re my friends and my brothers and sisters in Christ. When people ask me what’s weird about America, I have to stop and think about it, because it’s now so familiar. And instead of being scared of taking the language exam, this year I get to be the examiner (for Greek, at least).
So I’m grateful to the Lord who in his providence didn’t burden me with personal grief or family worries last summer and who has blessed me with all I’ve needed to bear the sadness of this summer.