Monday 22 April 2013

The Joyful Consequences of Not Doing Life Alone

One of the main reasons that we decided to up sticks and move to Cornwall is that we knew we weren't going to be doing it alone.  I did that when I moved to Spain, and it was hard hard hard. Last May we met a bunch of people that we immediately felt at home with.  We could imagine spending a whole lot more time with them.  We found out about a bungalow becoming available right next door to these people.  Yes, we are kind of in the middle of nowhere, but currently there is a couple living in the house next door, a lady in the caravan on our drive and a couple in the caravan on the other drive.  It's like a mini campsite! Haha!  And most days there are visitors to the House of Prayer (more on that another time), which is in the garden next door or to one of the houses/caravans.  We are not alone.

And it's bigger than that.  Being a follower of Jesus means being part of a world wide community.  It's pretty amazing to meet people on the other side of the world (Bolivian farmers, teenagers in rural north-east Brazil or Zambian children, for example) and to be able to connect on a deep level despite our obvious differences.

What being part of the Church - in the big-people-sense, not the old-building-in-the-middle-of-the-village-sense has meant for us in our first few weeks is this:

  • I've already lost count of how many meals we've eaten together with other people - both in our home and in other people's.
  • There was food in our cupboards when we arrived, and there are people who know and ask about our search for work and how we're settling in, etc
  • I get hugs from pretty cool old ladies on Sunday mornings who barely know me
  • We've met with people every day, we've never spent a day entirely alone.  Meaning that we've barely had a chance to feel lonely.  
  • Llewellyn has learnt how to ice cakes and has shared said cake and played games with old people in Carbis Bay  (The local council asked churches to get together and provide a social gathering for the elderly in the area)
  • We both helped serve food at a 'marriage course' evening, where couples have a chance to sit down and talk together about their relationship and learn more about each other
  • Tonight we're cooking for 15 people!
  • We've been given lifts, advice, useful contact numbers and even money to help us get sorted in our new life
  • We have enough furniture in our house, bearing in mind all we brought with us was one armchair!
  • We've ended up in the houses of strangers and have been welcomed, prayed for and encouraged
  • Llewellyn has already had opportunities to play guitar with others and in front of people, and I've written and shared a couple of poems
And all of this in under 3 weeks!

All this because people love Jesus and therefore love and are generous to others  (not just towards other people who follow Jesus, I must emphasise).

I'll admit, yesterday I did feel a bit wobbly because even though we've met all these wonderful people, I realised that we still don't know anyone well, and no one knows us very well.  And that can be tiring, and perhaps awkward.  And makes us miss friends back in Brighton.  But that's all part of the journey, isn't it?  Getting to know and becoming known.  And sometimes it's hard, and sometimes it's uncomfortable, and it definitely takes time, but it's worth it, I think.  I know.

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