Oftentimes we hear of things happening in the church community that we frown at. However there are other things happening within the community that doesn’t get much attention as it should. So today, I would like to share an aspect of the church community you hardly hear of.
I was blessed to grow up in a Christian home. Growing up, we didn’t really have close family members living near us. We lived our lives mostly alone. My immediate family were very involved in our local church and the members of the church were the closest people we knew. I watched how the church community came through for us when my parents needed help with babysitting. Our church family were so close to us that they had access into every place in our house. When they visited us and saw my parents doing anything, they took over voluntarily. When my mum had my baby brother, they came every morning to help us out despite we lived far away from them. Most of them then had no cars. They would walk long distances just to come help us out. They would come with food very early in morning and come to help my mum bath our baby. Church was everything to us. I remember we went through a very tough financial season. My parents are civil servants and it was a time the government did not pay them wages for over six months. My church family supported us through those periods. We rejoiced and cried together. We carried each other’s burden.
Everybody we knew, we knew from church. The kids had play dates together. One of my best friends’ (we’ve been friends for over 17 years) parents were friends with my parents; that was how we became friends. I saw pure love and genuine concern for one another. We even had parents who made their older kids to come live with us so they could help us out when we were little.
Fast forward to now. As they say the young shall grow haha! I grew up, got married and moved abroad with no known family member living nearby. I left everything I was familiar with. I knew no one except my husband. I was lonely. And then again church family came through. I made a friend who was always coming to check on me. That eased my loneliness.
When I had my kids, my church family were my support system. I had people who would come to check on us every day. Give my babies their bath. Bring us food. Help clean the house. Babysit so I could sleep. Some took time off work to help us. These are all people I would never have met in my life if not for the church. The relationship I have with my church family is amazing. I have those who tell me when grocery sales are on. Those who often offer to babysit my kids so my husband and I can have alone time. They give to us sacrificially. I have watched that same life I saw playing out in front of me as a child playing out again as an adult. Recently we had someone who came to visit us. Immediately he heard my husband say he was going to do some ironing, he insisted on helping us to do it. When we host parties, we do everything together.
In my few years of being a mum, I can testify to the fact that it takes a village to raise a child. I have seen my church family help me raise my kids. I hear them telling my kids about Jesus and other aspects of life. I don’t know how I would have survived without my church family. It took a village to raise me. My church village is helping me raise my kids. For this I will ever be grateful.
The church isn’t as bad as people paint it to be. Let’s celebrate what unites us instead of the things that divide us. I love my church community.