Sunday, August 5, 2012

My Church Fellowship

I go to Yoido Full Gospel church, which is the biggest church in the world. However, I go to their English service which is significantly smaller as I've mentioned before.  I've grown to really love my church and I've slowly started to become more involved:

I caught this great picture on my way to Friday Prayer service.

This is the English main pastor, Pastor Kwon.

This is Pastor Karen. She is from Australia. She is an incredible friend to me!

I now am part of the International Fellowship that happens on friday nights before our prayer service.  We get together and eat or play games and just be with eachother and have fun!

This picture is our International Fellowship, eating at a Vietnamese restaurant. Left to right: Me, YJ (Korean), Minjeong (Korean) and Curtis (US)

Another International Fellowship night. Left to right: Monica (Indonesian), Keoni (Hawaii), Me, and Karen (Australia)

Our first International Fellowship night! Left to right: Karen (Australia), Me, Channel (Africa)

And Finally, below is my small group. Here in Korea they are called cell groups. We had a couple members missing though. Left is Curtis, and to his left is Minjeong, then me, Christine, and finally Joseph in the striped shirt. Christine and I are headed to Jeju Island this weekend and they were helping us plan where to go.

It's strange. I've always loved God but I feel like it's only now that I am actually seeking him.  When I was in America, sure I went to church, but my life was so simple and easy that I didn't depend on him like I should have.  I went to church every week but I never really absorbed anything.  I never connected with any of the people there either. Now that I'm on my own in a country far away, I find myself relying on him so much more.  I am challenge constantly. But it is not just my life that challenges me, but also the church. I've never felt challenged by the church before. 

My church service is filled with people from all over the world, so its tons of different types of christian cultures meshing together.  You see the different ways people worship. You really start understanding how no church in the world is perfect, including the ones back home.  There are so many different ways to worship and I feel like I am learning so much more now than before.

Don't get me wrong! I've not become some amazing christian or anything while i'm here. I'm still making constant mistakes and am still a sinful person.  But... I think slowly I am understanding the world more. Things that would seem crazy back home don't seem so crazy here once you understand them better.  The best example is speaking in tongues. When I first heard it I nearly flipped out. We don't do that back home. People who do it can be considered quite crazy! But, I felt like this was the church I belonged to, so I started asking questions.  The people who do speak in tongues tell me its a way to talk to God when you don't have the right words.  They tell me that languages are so limited so they can't express fully what they want to express.  I'm understanding that more now that I'm learning a second language. You start to realize that certain words don't exist in some languages and you have to find new ways to express what you want.  Now, speaking in tongues is not my gift, but at least now I understand it better so I'm no longer afraid of it. 

Though that's not to say it's always right either.  Our latest topic in our bible study was speaking on tongues, and the bible clearly says that if done in public then it should be translated for the benefit of others, which is a difficult thing to do.  Otherwise it can just become a distraction.  I'm certainly not a master on this subject and am still learning though, so I really don't know much yet. 


Unknown said...

God Bless You Jessica Atchley :-)

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