If You Don't Want to Go, Go Anyway

   Friday:   I just got back from a dance hosted by the Black Student Union. And yes, it was pretty much as awesome as that sounds.
     Dances aren't really my thing. My first dance was 8th grade formal, and it was horrid. My second dance was homecoming junior year, and it was horrid. My third dance was senior prom and it was pretty awesome! I felt like a real fancy gal, I had a great time with friends, they actually played a few good songs, it wasn't hard to avoid the grinders. Now I've been to my fourth dance, and I can say that it definitely falls closer to Prom on the scale. For one thing, the whole night, I think I heard one cuss word in one song. For another thing, no one took off any articles of clothing!!!!!! (the same cannot be said of my homecoming experience, cough cough, you know who you are Magic Mike wannabe). For another thing, there was no grinding circle! In fact, the grinding was kept to a bare minimum. And even the grinding I did see (which was honestly maybe four couples?) was nowhere near as sexual and disgusting as that of public school dances.
      There was honestly just an air of fun, no pressure at all to look good or meet a mate or whatever. It wasn't a dress up dance, so there were people there in t-shirts and jeans, and some people in casual dresses, and some people in between.
       While I'll admit that there were moments when I was acutely aware of my whiteness, on the grander scale, I wasn't really paying attention to anyone and I'm sure no one was paying attention to me. It was a very welcome escape, and a great end to the week. I would say that I'm still not super into dances, so I definitely won't be going to every dance that comes up. But it was nice to just throw caution and inhibition to the wind for once and actually go have fun with a big group of people. It was nice because I felt like I could actually do that comfortably at a school like this. Now I'm like dead tired, which is a good thing, because it means I'll sleep really well!

Sunday: I almost didn't go to church today. I had to work the closing shift at the Union on Saturday night again, so I didn't get back to the dorm until 12:45, and then I had to take a shower, so needless to say, when I woke up I was so, so tired. Plus, I think I'm getting a cold. I just really was not feeling it. But then I thought about how we're doing a video series in Sunday School, and how if I missed today, then it might not make sense next week. That and a couple other things convinced me that I should go. (Word to the wise: every time you really don't feel like going to church, that's probably the time when you need to go the most.) I'm so glad I actually dragged my butt out of bed and went, because the whole thing was awesome. Here are a few reasons why:

1. New potential friend!
      There were only four people on the bus today, two upperclassmen girls that I'd seen there before, and one new girl that I hadn't. I thought maybe she was a freshman trying out a new church, but after talking to her, it turns out she's actually a sophomore and she went to Slate Hill last year, and had just not gotten to come the past few weeks because she went home a couple times. She's from New York and her name is Abby. She was really nice and easy to talk to. We sat together during the sermon and then again during Sunday School.

2. The Lao fellowship!
     Apparently, Slate Hill has a group of people from Laos who meet in the basement of the church every week to have services in Lao. They come up for the English service every now and then, although many of them do not speak English. They came up today and shared a song in Lao, and then one of their members, Sing Saengye (I probably butchered that spelling) gave his testimony and was baptized after church. I didn't get to see the actual baptism because the bus dropped me off near my dorm and the baptism was happening down by the covered bridge. But I really enjoyed the testimony. Parts of it were difficult to understand because Sing doesn't speak a lot of English, but what I gathered was that Sing came from a Buddhist family in Laos, and then came to the United States to live with his cousin and younger brother, and accepted Christ in 2012. Then he went back to Laos to engage his now wife and get her a visa to come to America with him. Then last year he was in and out of the hospital with blood clots, which were diagnosed as cancerous earlier this year, and he's on a journey of chemotherapy right now. He said "I want to tell you two short stories that help me to believe that God is real. When I went to go engage my wife, they told me that the process of getting her a visa and getting all the paperwork to go through would take 6 to 8 months. It was finished in 4 months. Then we come to America and they tell us it will take 4 months to process more paperwork here. It took less than 3. When I was in Laos, my family asked me what changed, why I now believe in God and not Buddha. I told them that God is always kindness, God is always love, and I can see God moving in my life". It was really touching. He also said that he doesn't know what's going to happen with his cancer, but that he's confidant that God will heal him. If everyone had faith like that, just so black and white, imagine what we could do as a world! After he spoke, the elders of the church, and the members of the Lao fellowship, and some people from the congregation surrounded him and laid hands on him and prayed for his healing and his baptism, and it reminded me so much of my own church back home. Sing was so adorable too, he had the biggest smile on his face the whole time. It was endearing. And the whole thing just goes to show that the love of God surpasses any language barrier. Hearing Sing up there so joyful, speaking in the best English he knew how. It was really really cool.

3. Special Needs helpers!
     Slate Hill also has like a partnership type thing with a local home for Special Needs individuals, so today during the service, the ushers each had a partner with special needs and they helped them pass out the offering plates. It was so adorable watching these like ten year old boys helping 50 something year old handicapped people take the offering. I'm so glad I didn't miss that.

4. Important flyer!
     This kind of goes along with the last one because Ulli Klemm, one of the assistant Sunday School teachers for the class I'm in came in and gave us each a flyer. He does work with the special needs home, and they have a fun night one Friday a month that anyone from the college can go to and hang out with the people from the special needs home, watching movies and eating snacks or making crafts and stuff. And literally on Thursday when I was eating dinner with my peer mentor, I was telling her how I was thinking of going to the Agape center to see if there were any organizations I could join to get involved with special needs. And then boom, I don't even have to ask anyone! I can just hop on a bus once a month and go spend time with people at the Cumberland Vista Group Home. And if I hadn't come to church today, I wouldn't have gotten a flyer and wouldn't have known about that opportunity.

5. Good sermon and Sunday School class!
     The sermon and Sunday School class were both about hope, which was exactly what I needed to hear about today. I'm going through some stuff right now that's really wearing on me and testing my trust and faith and hope in God, and it feels like I need constant, daily reminders that He's got it figured out and everything will work out in the end, even when it doesn't feel that way from my perspective. So I'm glad I went and got to be reminded of that again.

Okay, I guess I should go practice my speech for my Communications class. Have a good rest of the day!


P.S. To anyone who usually gets email updates and hasn't been getting them lately, I'm trying to fix it, but it seems like it might take a while. I'm bad at technology and don't really know what I'm doing. Til then, feel free to read on this regular website!


Popular Posts