Friday, November 2, 2012

News from North Dakota - The search for a Church

The final post about our journey to ND these past few months includes that of finding a new church for our family to attend. I think this process has been more difficult for me than for Phil. While he and S were out here during July and August they visited a couple churches and found one that they liked. They went there on Sundays during their month long stay. When we arrived in ND as a family in September our family began attending this church.

A little background here will allow you to understand my personal struggle a little better. When we made the move to New Holstein WI a few years ago Phil found our church, First Baptist of Kiel and I was completely at peace with the choice and easily transitioned. I loved the fact that the church had many young families with a heart to disciple their own children as well as work together as a "community" to instruct each others children. It took me a couple years before I really felt like I developed a deep friendship and that was with our associate pastors wife. When we left the area in September, we spent our last night in WI with their family, as Phil was very close to Pastor S too. Not only was the fellowship sweet with so many of the families in our church, the way the church functioned was so wonderful. When we joined the church was going through a building project and I really enjoyed how the leadership and families worked together to make our church one in which we could worship, fellowship, welcome visitors, and have a space where kids could be kids. I'm afraid that all the excellent ways that our church handled things over the years made me feel so at home, that leaving there has been tough. The church people became our "family", especially since we had no family in the area. Our times at church were refreshing, encouraging, convicting, and over all a blessing. So my expectations for a new church were very much so on the high side.

That being said, I found that I enjoyed the preaching at our new church, it was biblical, pertinent, and well done. Appreciated that there were many young families, a few were members and some are considering membership. There is a wonderful Senior population just like we had at our old church (I miss you Jean & Lou Eva!), and the church has a great spirit. On several occasions I shared with Phil my "concerns" about this or that.... of which I will not expound, and after several weeks of attending Sunday services, attending a planning meeting and business meeting, spending time with the pastor and one of the trustee's we decided that this is the church that God wants us to join. The day we made this decision..... I cried. I miss my church family in Kiel so much, I found it really hard this time to just jump in with two feet to a new church. I know that my struggle is more emotional than the church isn't right. After all, there are no perfect churches because there are no perfect people! We went forward this past Sunday and made public our desire to join the church and I'm very excited about how God is directing. I know that we will be blessed by the ministries and people in this church and pray that our family will be a blessing in return.

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