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  • Writer's pictureChristina

Church Family

Greg and I attended Pasadena Nazarene Church (Paz Naz) when we were dating. We attended church every Sunday, or Saturday, depending on which day I was working in the hospital. I would drive up to an hour from west LA to attend church with Greg, and we loved the preaching so much that we even listened to the preacher after he left for another church, after we left to serve in Africa. But we never really felt plugged in at that church, never joined the community there, I think it was because I lived so far away and we were a bit busy and we knew we would be moving in a year or two. So it was quite shocking for us when we started attending Paz Naz again during our 6 months back in the US before we returned to Africa. We expected to float into and out of services like we had as students, never really getting to know anyone. Instead, the pastor reached out and introduced herself and asked about our stories on the first Sunday we attended. She invited us for tea and introduced us to the missions committee. We even met a wonderful woman who sat in the seats behind us with her husband and she made time to take me to tea and offer mentor ship. She sent me recipes and invited me to the Women's bible study and now when we walk into church, we have a place to sit. The NMI president invited us to her house on Thursday nights, and also to Sunday school Sunday mornings. We've been to dinners and lunches and have been referred to people to encourage and mentor us. People we didn't even know 3 months ago hav come alongside us, partnered with us, feel like old friends. I feel so wrapped up and surrounded by community here. It’s so different from what I expected. So different from our experience eight years ago. Maybe Greg and I could have had our first ministry here, maybe I would have had people I could talk to about Josh’s death. But whatever the reason that we didn't connect earlier, how much more meaningful it is now that we are so connected. These saints and strivers are encouraging us to be better people, reminding us that we are in this together, and becoming models we will carry with us for lives. Last Sunday I sang praises next to two women, raising our voices together praising God. A lot of churches would never have people sitting directly side by side, but this was wonderful, beautiful, felt like home. Praise God for an intentionally communal church.

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