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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sunday Morning at Church

Sometimes it feels as though we are already in a foreign country as we are living in Quebec City right now. If you want to talk about things relating to adjusting to a different culture, I think overcoming a language barrier is somewhere near the top of the list! Or maybe I think that now because it's all I really know about entering a new culture. On Sunday morning we busily ready ourselves for church as many of you are probably doing. We comfortably communicate with each other and gather what we will need to keep the children busy. We think about our church family back home, and are reminded once again, we won't be seeing them this morning.

Upon arrival at the small Alliance church we attend in Quebec City, we are greeted with many smiling faces and "Bonjour!" At times even a question about something... "What did they ask?" We think to ourselves. Quickly, we are reminded we don't understand hardly anything, and it will be a long morning of trying to piece together a very large puzzle. We have a few pieces, but many are still missing. Our brains are about to get a major "work-out.!" Some of the worship songs we recognize based on the tunes. And after quickly glancing around, we realize they are in mid-prayer. Shhhhh Kids! The worship service is a mixture of order and spontaneity. I'm positive I would appreciate it 100% more if I understood exactly what everyone was getting so excited or emotional over. However - I quickly remind myself, wait a minute. I serve the same God they do. Jesus, whom they are worshiping saved all of us. They are excited about that! I don't have to understand every word.

After two hours of catching perhaps 5% of the words, our minds are worn out. We drive home and ask each other about the service, if it isn't completely jumbled in our minds by this time. Again we're reminded that the only way we will be able to get through is by God's grace. Often we feel as though we will never understand what people are saying. And then there are few glimmers of hope. A few, "ah ha!" moments where a concept finally makes sense. Thank you Jesus for helping us to understand!