Encouragement has come in many different forms this month, which has been much needed and much appreciated! Here are some examples:
We received a phone call from the Antwines asking us how the work was going.
We received a fantastic gift from Alameda Church of Christ, which you are just going to have to wait until the newsletter to read more about!
I had a great phone call with Momma Nicole a few nights ago, which can be added to the encouragement we get from the phone calls from a few good friends and family that we stay in contact with each month.
And lastly, was something very unexpected…
Towards the beginning of this month (or maybe end of last month), I went to get my haircut. Now, as we have discussed before, this is no small task when you are living in a foreign country speaking a foreign language. Especially if the blunders of my language were going to possibly be seen for the entire next month in the form of my new haircut. However, I decided I had to be brave and get my haircut. I learned a few new words and went in deciding that in the end…well, it’s just hair. A young woman greeted me at the door and started asking me how I wanted my hair done. Of course, she was very interested in me because she could hear my very thick American accent. I told her how I wanted it and she understood. Then she started asking me all kinds of questions about why I was here and where I was from and even complimented my German! I told her that I was working for a church here and suddenly she was very excited and even more friendly than before. She told me that she was excited to meet me because she feels so encouraged when she meets other believers. She feels like she isn’t alone! How amazing that I was feeling exactly the same way. The rest of the time she told me about her faith and the church that she attends and she even spoke some English with me!! She told me that she wanted to visit my church to encourage us. Although I was excited about this, I also figured that she probably would forget about it after I left. So I left her the information just in case. Either way, I left feeling extremely encourage and excited to have someone to cut my hair from now on. Something that I was so afraid of, and almost didn’t do turned out to be one of the most encouraging experiences I have had so far!
But the story is not over…
A couple of weeks later on Sunday morning there was a lot of commotion outside before church began. I wasn’t even paying attention until Chris ran in saying that someone was here to see me. Truthfully, I had forgotten all about it and couldn’t think of who it could be. It turns out my stylist showed up to church with her boyfriend, and about 6 other people! All just to encourage our church. And a couple of her friends live close by and are looking for a new home church. So, she brought them to check out our church. It was so encouraging to the church and so encouraging to me personally.
The lesson I learned here is that so often I am afraid of talking about my faith because of “what people will think”. When in reality, if I am not talking about my faith, I may be missing a huge opportunity to encourage someone, and in turn be encouraged. My stylist was not afraid to talk about her faith and I was so glad I didn’t back down from talking about mine, because in the end we found we shared a strong common bond that ended up encouraging not just us, but the whole congregation. What a blessing!
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. Romans 1:16 (NIV)
Don’t forget to show hospitality to believers you don’t know. By doing this some believers have shown hospitality to angels without being aware of it. Hebrews 13:2 (God’s Word Translation)