dear NH friends,

It's amazing how over night the fog in my mind cleared up, and I see things for what they are, with so much clarity.  Thank you to all those who sent me their prayers and advices.  I really appreciate them.

So, where to begin friends ?  Let me start with the reason why I wrote my last post:

- I miss going to a church where I know everyone there
- I miss that I can come up to anyone of you and talk about anything
- I miss eating our Pho? noodle lunch
- I miss Mark doing some kind of cartwheel somewhere behind a church pew and fall
- I miss the kids crawling around, running wild, everywhere, all over church

I miss being with you in a nice comfortable environment.  We were a good silly bunch of people weren't we ?  Many of us grew up together, so in a way, you're an extension of my family. 

It's heart breaking when a "family" no longer gets together.  I feel it.  I'm grieving it.  It's hard on me because I've been there from the beginning.  I still have the letter I wrote up to the church board, pleading with them to let us have our own English service.  That's was over 15 years ago.

Many changes took place over the course of the years.  Many came and many left.  The same few people makes up the advisory board.  If you look back, look at the boarder picture, we didn't take care of our "church".  Church here isn't the building, nor the people who attend it, but the whole intangible being, the body of Christ.  We didn't take care of it.  If we care, things would look a lot different than now.  We can barely show up on time, friends. 

When I look pass all the niceties, I can see that we were too comfortable.  Our branches were slowly branching away from the vine, which is Christ Jesus.  Sharing Christ, living for Christ wasn't the main goal, the main vision for many of us.  In a church of only a few, that is a significant number.  We waited for our pastor to start everything and support only when asked.  We lack initiative.  We lacked it because deep inside, we don't care.  That's the harsh reality.  Our church was being tended by one person, one exhausted person.  If we were a company, we would have been bankrupt a long long time ago.

I'm quite confident that Christ has a grand plan for each of us.  He took us out of our comfort zone so we can grow.  He sees that together we were lazy :-)  relying on each other, depending on each other.  Now that we're on our own, like an independent child, we will have to take that first step, to find Him, to seek Him.  Our faith needs to grow so we can endure the race that is set before us.  Christ wants us to be rooted in Him. 

I know I'm discouraged at the moment.  As much as I want to sit in my comfortable home, reasoned that I don't like feeling "uncomfortable" and sulk.  I know I can't give up meeting.  My Sundays are for praising God.  No matter how I reasoned, Sunday is my day for Christ.  Period.

Christ is every where, not contained within building walls.  And yesterday, while I was attending church, we sang a song about being a part of Christ's family.  It was a reminder I needed, and maybe, a reminder for you too, that any church we go to, we're among family.  In Christ, we are a family.  I always feel a connection whenever I meet a Christian.  Because there's an invisible string, that is our Lord, that connects us together.  It's pretty awesome. 

I don't want the "same" church.  It wasn't working, the whole church within church concept, was not working.  It hindered us.  We were taking out of there for a reason.  Christ wants us to grow, to broaden our eyes, to be encouraged, to be brave, to be a warrior for Christ.  We're no longer infant, we need to stand on our own, with only Christ leading us. 

What I miss most, I realized, is you.  We should do Pho? noodle get together every once in a while :) 

My prayer is with you.  I deeply hope you will find a place where you fit in, where you can serve.  While searching though, please please don't give up not attending church altogether.  Once you make it into a habit, it will be harder to break.  Also, most churches start early in the morning, unlike our afternoon service.  It will take some effort.  A lot of effort.  Ahh, but being a Christian is never about "convenience" !  He's funny that way !  that Jesus !  But He's worth every ounce.  Trust Him.