While Sara was in from Denmark we had the opportunity to take her to church with us at GCC. As I sang with the praise team I had the opportunity to watch her. She didn't sing...she occasionally smiled at me...and the whole time I could tell that she was taking it all in...committing it to memory.
A few days prior to church we had the opportunity to hang out together. And yes, that does translate into shopping...but we were still hanging out!! We had some wonderful discussion and talked about many things. We discussed her schooling, her dreams, and we discussed her family. She began to tell me that at one point in time, her mother had been hurt by her parents as a child. The abuse she endured was both mental and physical, and that her mother had finally learned through counseling that she needed to forgive her parents in order to move on with her life. As Sara sat through our pastor's sermon on Sunday, I knew that she was listening intently... it was such a wonderful conclusion to our discussion time!
When we got in the car to go out an eat after church one of her first questions was, "Did you hear the sermon? It was all about my mom. It was all about the discussion that we had." She and Mickey and I went on to discuss the fact that there are often times going to be those people in your life who hurt you, who do not come to you to ask for your forgiveness. This was the case with Lissy and her parents. We talked about the fact that it is still important to forgive those people in your heart, or you will never get beyond the hurt.
We then asked her how she enjoyed the service and she was so happy that she had joined us. She felt that Chad was so prepared to talk on the subject of his sermon. She believe that he had researched and prayed over what he was going to say. That is important to the Danish as they are very focused on studies. She also mentioned that she felt his sermon touched everyone at some point. It wasn't just for one person, but it had been for everyone.
The church in Denmark isn't like the church here. It is still steeped in legalism, and liturgical services are the norm. There are no praise bands, there are no videos and there is no excitement. Most of the time, people there only go on Holiday's, and regular attendance isn't wide spread. Yet Sara...who spent nearly a year attending church with us each Sunday, has opted to attend often. She said that when she enters the church she feels God's presence and she closes her eyes and remembers how she feels when she attends church in the US.
I am glad that she had the opportunity to come "home" and get her battery recharged for Christ. I pray that everyone who attends services here in the US can be recharged. I am personally thankful that we are able to worship in the church of our choosing. I feel very blessed that our pastor "does his homework" prior to giving the message and that people from all walks of life can be touched by what they hear. And I am especially thankful that we had a small reminder from our Danish daughter about just how blessed we truly are.