Finding a church in a new area can be one of the most frustrating and emotional searches of any move (well, and finding a hair dresser...but that's a different post all together!). We felt very fortunate that our search in Guam was easy. Our first Sundays in Guam we attended the Chapel on base and LOVED it. One Sunday - done. The music and the preaching were exactly what were looking for. Then we fell in love with the people. A huge plus of living in Guam was living with, going to school with, and worshipping with the same people. The sense of community was strong and we loved it.
It wasn't perfect. After all, it was still a military environment. I hated it when people would introduce themselves by their rank. And I hated it when my friends found out my husband's rank and job. Then we were no longer just Kelley and Drew. They now said, "Hey, Kelley and 'Sir'". I, also, heard of others refuse to be friends with others because of rank. True, fraternization is a serious concern among those that wear the uniform, but for us wives, we should leave rank at the door.
But overall, I loved the Chapel and our church family there. It's one of the things I miss most about Guam: the people.
I, also, know that we will meet some amazing people here, too. And it starts with us finding a church. We have always known we make our dearest and truest friends at church where couples and families hold to the same values as we do: Jesus. We do want our church close by,though. After all, we will be more apt to go if we don't have to drive far and in little traffic. Maybe that's a bad reflection of our faith, but it's true: closer is better.
When Drew came back from buying this house, one of the things he was excited about was the large Baptist church that was right around the corner from the neighborhood. He began to pray that it was the church the Lord wanted us to attend. He, also, began to pray that we would meet neighbors from the church and we would connect with them.
Yesterday we attended the morning service there. We really enjoyed it. While they called the service a "blended" (meaning the use of traditional hymns as well as current Christian songs ), I felt like the service leaned more toward the traditional side instead of contemporary. (I would prefer an ultra contemporary service, but Drew likes the blended.) But as my mother reminded me: you really can't judge a whole music program by one service. I will say the soloist during the choir special was amazing! She never seemed nervous or anxious at all!
Then there was the preaching. Very good! The right balance of humor with truth delivered in a easy, friendly way. We were so pleased that we decided to go back next week and also visit Sunday school. Drew talked again about praying to meet neighbors through this church.
Later in the afternoon Drew and I when returned from the commissary, William told us that a neighbor came over to meet us while we were gone and that he said was also from the church. Ooooo! We thought. Sounds like an answer to prayer already.
Later in the evening the couple came by again to meet us. And we found out it wasn't just another member of the church, but the pastor himself that lived next door! He and his wife were very friendly. They have two children - one a son the same age and grade as Benjamin. They proceeded to tell us of many others that lived in the neighborhood that attend the church.
They, also, talked about how they have prayed for the family who would live in this house. To know that just as we were praying for the Lord's guidance in the choosing of the house and a church that they were praying for us as well....now that's the Lord's doing! He truly does prepare the way for us.