Sunday, January 22, was our last house church before Beth and I left for the states. It was a night of pancakes (both banana and chocolate chip), fellowship, and sadness for Beth and myself.
This group of friends were some of the closest people we know while living in Moscow, so this night only made it all the more apparent what we were going to be losing by moving back to the US.
The evening was a great time to share about the previous 6+ months together, and to also look to the future. To our excitement, several people in the group brought up future meetings and were making plans to meet once we left. It was so great to hear people talking about how they wanted to be involved in the future meetings--those who were ambivalent or uninterested when the group began. There were a few who were downright uncomfortable when we first started. But week after week it was encouraging to see the growth in each person. Our friends felt welcome--safe, even-- to disagree, to share different viewpoints, to pray.
Although Beth and I had a desire to start a group like this, selfishly we needed something like this, for our well-being. We needed this kind of community to keep us sane and to keep us going. And it's something we miss the most about our time in Moscow.