We celebrated New Years at the church! It was a great time fellowshipping and just spending time with one another.
We had a light supper of finger foods that everyone brought, then we had a photo contest for who made the silliest face. After that we had a junk auction. Everyone brought something that was of no real use (this went along the lines of 'one mans junk is an others treasure'). That was fun! There was anything and everything from a shoe horn and a vase with a cat on it, to a chinese tea set and picture frames. It was fun! After that we saw a slideshow of pictures from the past year that recapped events that everyone did as a church. Then we played games and chatted for about an hour.
At around 11:30 we started to sing and had a short devotional. at 12 we went to the front yard of the church and shot of fireworks for nearly an hour! Fireworks are legal within city limits around new years since that is really the only holiday with fireworks (remember, they dont celebrate the 4th of july here!)
Thinking about that string of events made me a bit homesick today. Those days are never fun. Its hard to be torn in two. Part of me wants to be home celebrating with friends and family, and then part of me is excited to experience something completely new! It does help though, when others want to teach me something. Tonight two of the young adults, a little older than myself, pulled me aside to show me some of the german fire crackers (just the small ones) and how to use them. At first I was hesitant, and just wanted to watch, but then I saw that they got excited to show me something new, and that helped me get more into it!
New Years was great all in all!
An observation that I made when i was here with LST was on the church dynamic. Not to criticize or generalize the church in the states compared to here, but it seems like much more of a family here. Holidays and big events are celebrated with the church, because they are your family. I love my church in Oklahoma, please do not get me wrong, they too are a family, but its different. For example, one of the members has completely lost contact with their family because they have chosen the Christian faith as their own. The church has literally become their family. That is how I believe it should be, not that you lose contact with loved ones, but that you are so close in your faith that you are like family. You are able to celebrated and have true fellowship and not think, "another church activity", but rather, "another opportunity to spend time with one another!".
You want people to be involved because they want to, not because they feel obligated. And for the most part, it is obvious which of the two most people are. The mindset is the difference, and I am so very lucky and blessed to be a part of such a wonderful church! In the short 4 months since I have been here I have learned so very much!!! I am almost antsy to get back to the states and get to work their!
Sorry, that was long!
Be good and do good!
Quote: The difference between school and life? In school, your taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, your given a test that teaches you a lesson. ~ Tom Bodett