WATCHNIGHT SERVICE (31 DEC 2013): 3 THINGS GOD TAUGHT ME IN ADELAIDE
From Audrey Bay
I went to Adelaide to study this year and here are 3 of the many lessons God taught me while I was there. First, when God calls us to a specific place, He calls us to a place of success, not failure. When I left Singapore, I had many ‘what if’ questions because I feared the unknown. Thanks to God’s amazing providence, my fears were unfounded. Within 2 days in Adelaide, I found residence. My housemates and I eventually grew so close that we became like a family. In class, I was the ‘odd one out’ because I was the only Asian. Yet God helped me to assimilate quickly and find favour with my classmates. I also settled down in a church, which became an importance source of social support for me. In retrospect, God had meticulously arranged everything and provided far more than what I could imagine. Second, God taught me to make time for people. Compared to life in Singapore, I had more spare time as an overseas student. I realized that God gave me a break from the busyness of life so that I could connect more with people. I was able to spend time with my housemates who had different religions, my local classmates from an ungodly culture, and other friends who had backslidden in their Christian faith. God taught me to make time for them and bless them with my personal testimonies. Third, God taught me to appreciate my home church and be sensitive towards newcomers. In Adelaide, I tried settling down in a modern church. It had great sermons and worship, but something was missing – community. It was hard to interact with people in that church because they seemed to have little interest in connecting with newcomers. For weeks I cried out to God for help and sorely missed the close connections I had back in Calvary. 6 months later, I decided to visit another church. I found the service simple and sweet, but what was sweeter still was the warmth of the people. They took the initiative to talk to me and made sure I felt at home. That very day, I decided to make it my home church. This experience made me appreciate the big family I have in Calvary. I appreciate that we are a close-knit church of different generations. This experience also made me more aware of the needs of newcomers in church. It is my desire that every Calvarite blesses newcomers through their actions, just like how I was so blessed by my church in Adelaide.