Author - Emma Stanley

Arlie told us to write about the community this week. How we've seen it develop this past week, what impact it has already had, and what we're looking forward to in terms of community for this coming year. I might have a different viewpoint from my fellow Teamers and would love to share.

On Sunday, September 10th, I had gotten out of the shower and checked my phone. I saw nine missed calls from my sister and dad. This was not normal, so I quickly called my dad back. He patiently and carefully told me my mom was being sent to the hospital. She was having a stroke. By God's grace, I was in the room with Sydney, my new roommate, and was immediately hugged as I explained and got ready to head to the hospital. On my way out, I started praying and getting texts drafted to send to my small group, my church family, the team, and anyone I could ask for prayer—every one of the texts I drafted I dreaded sending. The thought of having a record of the night my family was having was nauseating. When I got to the Disciple Daily app, I saw that Sydney had already messaged the group. She explained what was happening and asked for prayer for my mom and family. Everyone responded almost immediately, asking how I was doing and what they could do as they began to pray.

I had first met this community only a week earlier. The Fellowship team and leaders covered my mom and family in prayer. They asked for updates, offering to sit in the hospital's waiting room and serve us however they could. I was sitting there, utterly overwhelmed. In just one night, this community became a family of brothers and sisters who live to love like Jesus!

Yet the week hadn't even begun. This week was our retreat week, and we spent almost every second of four days and three nights together. An amazing family had been generous enough to allow us to use their AirBnB for these very needed days of intense vulnerability. We played games to show our competitive sides and floated the river to see what it's like to relax with each other (and give Arlie a heart attack, but that's another story). Most importantly, we sat around the table reading and discussing The Word first thing in the morning. We asked questions with no answers, debated viewpoints, and simply sat in awe of who our God is. We learned how each of our minds worked, what we wrestled with, and what interested us as we made connections between different parts of Scripture, and learned what it truly is to live in a biblical community.

We shared our life stories and broke down walls as we prepared for our mission trip to Maui this coming Monday. The anxiety I usually felt when sharing my life story was gone as I understood the genuine love and yearning to know one another and give glory to God for all He has done in our lives, that He has led us to commune with each other. We met people who had been praying for us for months. They opened their homes and lives to us as we rejoiced in their testimony! This week has opened my eyes to the vastness of community. I cannot fathom what our group of five will be able to achieve in the year to come!
Posted in

No Comments