In May of 2002, Pete and I graduated from college in San Diego and moved back to Oregon. Pete's parents invited us to the church they'd been attending in Lake Oswego while we were away at school. We tried it once, and never left. It's been a huge part of our lives ever since.
Exactly 10 years later, we find ourselves in a new country and looking for a church. We know jumping right into a church will be a great way to build much-needed friendships and connections. There are a few English-speaking churches in Luxembourg, and after a little research we decided to try All Nations Church first.
We weren't at all prepared for what a nerve-racking and emotional experience setting off for a new church would be. For several years back in Oregon, Pete and I had been making a concerted effort to seek out and welcome new people to our church each week. I figured that I "knew the drill." But being on the other side brought such an unexpected, strange wash of emotions. I was almost in tears from the first handshake, and I think both of us were holding on by a thread throughout the whole service. I'm still not entirely sure why - if we were sad, happy, or just overwhelmed. Probably the answer is, yes.
The kids did great. Part way through the service we took them back to Sunday school and they seemed to assimilate right in - even quiet little James. Afterward, crafts in hand and smiling, Daphne asked if we needed to look anymore - if we could stay. I suppose considering what we've put them though the last few days, church was nothing. No shots or X-rays or 3-hour bank appointments, and playing with other kids their age - what's not to like?
Maybe we'll just stick with this one. Hey, it worked in 2002, right?