Sunday, March 20, 2011

Kimber goes to Church

I decided to attend church today. There is a Christian church located just a couple of blocks away from my house, so this morning, I dressed up, grabbed my scriptures and headed over a few minutes before 10:00.

I was greeted warmly at the door ("Welcome!") by a blue-shirted gentleman, and then led to a chair by a sweet lady with a baby. Half-way through the service, the lady I was sitting next to traded places with a woman named Talaung who speaks decent English and was able to translate for me (I caught about half of her English...but I nodded at all of it).

I really enjoyed myself. I liked that the first hour of the meeting was just a lot of singing and clapping and smiling. Definitely different from the more subdued LDS meetings I'm used to, but you could still feel the Christian spirit. I was surprised that the meeting lasted over two hours...I thought our church was the only one with such long meetings. The first hour consisted of singing, something akin to a testimony meeting, scripture readings, and a song/scripture from the children's sunday school. They also had me stand up and introduce myself along with two Karen girls who were new this week. The second hour and a half of the meeting consisted of a sermon given by the local pastor, and lots of prayers...

If I grasped what Talaung was telling me, the sermon talked a lot about the problems and violence that Burma is facing right now, as well as the earthquakes that have been occurring all over the world. The pastor asserted that the people have turned away from God and so he is showing his wrath to the people. As Christian's it is our duty to spread the truth and call God's children to repentance. We also need to make sure that WE are choosing to follow the word of God so that we can have eternal life. The pastor had us turning to scriptures all over the Bible--it felt a little strange to never open the Book of Mormon. Over all it was a good meeting, and everyone was incredibly friendly.

After the meeting the pastor invited me to sit as a guest with he and his family and the two Karen girls for the after meeting luncheon. I felt honored. The spicy fish soup with rice was a little much for me--not only was it spicy, it had random pieces of fish and squid? floating around in it....with skin and everything on it. I ate some anyways, but was thankful that the pastor's wife cooked me some eggs knowing that farang often don't like fish. The eggs were DELICIOUS and the company was lovely. I've been invited to come to their pastor training session this week--it's an all day thing this Tuesday-Thursday. When they found out that I teach music at Baan Unrak, they were also anxious to invite me to there weekly music practice sessions on Saturday at 1:00--saying I could sing some solos in their meetings or perhaps even teach music to the kids. Haha....I don't know if I'll be attending everything they've invited me to, but it felt nice to be welcomed so openly.

More than anything, it made me want to drive up to Bangkok to attend the LDS ward....I really miss church. I wish it weren't an 8 hour drive one-way....
Hopefully, my new found Christian friends will hold me over until I can make it to Bangkok.


  1. What varied experiences you are having! Way to go branching out. You are collecting so many wonderful stories.

    Love you,

  2. I love this!!
    I skipped around because the title excited me so much. I thought you went to Bangkok...
    Not bad though. :) They are really good at making you feel welcome, no? When I see other churches, sometimes I wonder how it is that people join ours for all our lack of...'visible' zeal. And then I remember the Spirit.

    I love you. Hope your Christian friends make you feel a little lighter and less lonely.

    I've heard a lot about "God's anger" connected with the Shinto faith in Japan this past week. Apparently there were some Christian churches that were proclaiming God's disfavor with the un-christian natives the week that the Earthquake struck. Of course they took it as a sign from God that they were right.