Sunday, I received the best welcome packet from the BCCM church in KK. Inside were lots of wonderful materials, but I was especially excited to get a daily Bible readings calendar. Maybe a weird thing to be excited about, but go with it. So today, the passages were all based around the coming of Jesus into the world, looking at Matthew and Luke for what we would usually hear around Christmas time. Now, I still don't know why these readings were placed on this day, if not to remind us that Christmas is exactly 3 months from today :) But, it was really cool for me to read these because I have been reflecting on how thankful I am to have met so many incredible people in the past week that have made me feel more welcome and more comfortable in the midst of so much discomfort and uncertainty than I thought possible in such a short amount of time. I have realized this week that one of my biggest anxieties for the year was not the food, or having hot water or internet, but having a community to feel connected to. I think I felt that it was my responsibility to make this community happen, to build my own support for the year. However, the beautiful thing about God's community is that there is no need for us to do all the work. Just as God has acted first in loving us and claiming us, God also has acted first in showing me a new part of the community of Christ for me to be welcomed into with open arms. Everyone from Mrs. Soong and her family, to the teachers I work with, to the staff and residents at Cheshire Home, to the new friends I made at church have all been incredibly hospitable and welcoming as I enter into this year, reminding me that God is with me. God is with me in every single person I have met in this new community and will continue to to remind me that nothing is left up to me to figure out alone. Sometimes, we just need to be still and let God meet us.
"Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means, "God is with us." Matthew 1:23