Thursday, January 10, 2013

Our New Church

As you know, churches and Christianity play a huge part of life here. There are five churches in both of our two tiny villages. In each one, there's a Wesleyan Church, two different Churches of Tonga, a Mormon church, and a Pentecostal church. Both the Wesleyan churches are the biggest, and some of the smaller ones have only a couple families who attend. All have been quite different in many ways from what we are used to in America, but we have heard from a few people that the Pentecostal church might be pretty close to what we're used to.

Right now, we are in the midst of visiting all the churches in the villages - we figured it would be a good way to meet people and a good way to integrate into our villages. The time finally came last week to visit the Pentecostal church in Matamaka. And, we were doubly excited, as the main family of the church has been one of the friendliest in the village.

From the start, it was a wonderful Sunday. Everything about the church made us feel at home again. Instruments were used in worship, some English was thrown in to the songs and sermon, and the spirit of the church felt more like "real church" (according to us) than we've felt thus far in Tonga. The subsequent after-church meal was full of great, meaningful conversation about God and religion here in Tonga. The family is so, for lack of a better word, legit. Wonderful, wonderful people. We already love them so much and feel like their church is where we belong. At one point, they remarked that they "knew that God had brought us to the right place at the right time." Pretty sure both of us nearly cried.

We know we probably can't commit to going there every Sunday, as what church you go to is such a big deal here. But, we definitely plan on going as regularly as we can. It was a great Sunday, and a huge, huge answer to prayer.

- Mark

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