I remember one Wednesday night about two weeks after we moved here. Someone from our church told me she had been reading my blog and just wanted me to be prepared that the people at Stetson were nothing like the people in Vidalia. She just wanted me to know so I wouldn't be disappointed. She went on to tell me that people here didn't invite you into their homes. And, that people here would never love Jonah like the Vidalia people. She wanted to be sure I knew that church being like family would be a thing of the past for us. She said the people here expect a lot from staff but don't give much. She just didn't want me to be hurt. That was nice of her to tell me...except it wasn't true. Actually, it was the exact opposite.
The very next night, we had dinner in the home of church members. Then, the next night too. And, in the last three years, it has been pretty consistent. Some of those invites have even been on actual holidays where we not only spent time with them but their extended families also. We've celebrated family birthdays with church members. We've done lots of dinners in homes of church members or out do dinner with them.
And my kids...have they ever been loved here? Umm...without a doubt! Jonah has just as many grown-up friends here as he did there. Micah has a group of special grown-up friends just like Jonah does. They have people who invite them places just because they love them. They have special things with different people. They get cards in the mail on regular occasions. They come to birthday parties and shower them with gifts and love. There are people who have a car seat just so they can have my boys at times.
And, just at this very moment, a lady in her 70's is here playing with Micah while Dan is at the doctor with Jonah. She is having as much fun as he is. And, a dear friend called to say she was coming today just to clean my bathrooms. Her little one is in school and she just wanted to do something to help us. Last night, church members brought dinner to my family...just like they have since I had surgery 11 days ago. Another church member dropped tomatoes by after visiting the Farmer's Market Wednesday. On Sunday, a friend showed up with magazines and just stayed in bed with me for hours. Another one came on Monday with Chickfila ice cream. We have received so many offers of help. You know, from the people who "don't give much!"
A week from today will be three years since we moved 800 miles from everything familiar to us. We embarked on a new journey with a lot of unknowns. We've seen God do great things. We've had the opportunity to minister to a pretty incredible group of people. But, in the last couple of weeks, we've be ministered to in such beautiful ways. From prayers to food to cards to someone currently scrubbing my toilet! Our lives are so rich because of the people here. We are certainly the blessed ones.