I confess that we have been with our Millbrook Church family for nearly four months now. For those of you keeping track, that means Moses has now lived more of his life in Northern Ireland than in the States. Our life in this wonderful community has been a welcome adjustment for us. I feel like it is about time that I attempt to describe a Sunday at Millbrook as well as I can.
On the short walk from our house to the community centre where our congregation meets, there are rolling green hills with sheep grazing on them. If one were to look past the rolling hills, there is a spot where they become mountains. I am able to appreciate mountains like only a native of the flat state of Kansas can. They are majestic and awe-inspiring. The air is fresh, and the smell of rain is close at hand. I always think it will take longer to walk to church than it does, so inevitably we end up early. This Sunday Hosea wants play on the play ground next to the church before the service. By the time we walk through the automatic sliding doors after a good play, the church is bursting with friends who feel like family. Behind the sound table I greet my friend who taught me how to play squash, and who I cycle with on Saturdays. Up front tuning his Banjo is my other friend who lets me help out on Wednesday nights at a community youth outreach called Drop-in, and he cycles with us as well. There are friends with babies, friends with grown children, friends with no children, the list goes on. The singing begins with another friend playing lead guitar, and another one on the ukulele. Everywhere I look I see the faces of people who are now, in just four short months, what I would consider dear friends. The children all file out to their classes and our mentor stands and gives a sermon. I am reminded at how gifted she is at story-telling. The band plays again as worship music swells from the tiny community centre to the heart of God. The violin starts a beautiful crescendo as the drums keep the beat, and the keyboard, electric guitar, & singers use their gifts to praise God. As the service ends and the kids come in, Hosea rushes Abigail over to the food queue, where every Sunday there are (at the very least) tea and buns. We stay for an hour or more talking with these people who are now our family. The family who brings us eggs fresh from their farm talks to us for awhile, then my friend who I play snooker with. It seems there are more friends than there is time. We walk home, buzzing with excitement about what God is doing and our upcoming week in this community.
God is doing amazing things! People are finding hope in the Lord and seeing evidence of His presence in their lives. There is a latin term: missio Dei which means “the mission of God” or the “sending of God”. We are pressing into this sending, into this mission, and learning what it’s all about.
I confess we are following with hearts turned towards the Father.
I’ve made my confession, now go make yours.