Back in September I moved out for the first time, to big, exciting London for my gap year. Home is a small town in North Wales, where people smile and greet you walking down the single high street, where you know the vast majority of people you pass, and it always takes at least twice as much time to do the food shop due to bumping into everyone and their dog. So it’s fair to say it is a world away from London life.
I was really eager to grow in my faith this year, and was therefore slightly apprehensive of getting lost in a big church here in London - especially during the pandemic where so many things had gone online. I’d so valued the tight knit community of my home church, being encouraged and being kept accountable. I was really hoping for that community here too. God is so good and provided. He led me to the great community of The Globe Church. I’ve really loved integrating into church life this year, and seeing the fruit from making the most of Globe’s pandemic-friendly opportunities.
Back in October/November time, I found staying after church to share food and chat in the park with people so valuable in connecting to people. The same goes for being smuggled into the student’s grub crawls and making good friendships there. I find sharing and having good conversations over food with fellow Christians (as Jesus did with his disciples) so precious and encouraging in my faith, then highlighted more than ever. I think this is an amazing testimony to how much the church, as the body of Christ, dearly loves and cares for people and fellowship.
I have also loved getting involved with all the opportunities to get deeper into God’s word this year. Firstly, in joining a Focus group (shoutout to Hannah and Sam) which has been so beneficial, despite it being remote. It has been so good getting into the Bible each week in a group. Especially on weeks where I’ve struggled and slightly put my own Bible reading to one side, it’s been an encouragement. I’ve found it’s really reminded me that reading the Bible is great and so cool. It’s actually encouraged me to want to delve deeper afterwards myself. Discussing and hearing others’ thoughts on passages has also been eye-opening and God has definitely spoken to me a lot through that.
In addition to this I’ve thoroughly enjoyed doing One21 and reading the Bible with an older student named Sarah. One21 has been very helpful in solidifying and going deeper into that week’s sermon. I for one, so often love a week’s sermon and come out feeling so passionate, but quickly forget during the week. One21 has been great for going over the main points. God has spoken deeper and more specifically to me from it, overall helping me apply it to my week and life. I’d definitely encourage you (and myself) to try it and use it more often with someone.
I’m so grateful to God and to Globe for feeling so known, cared for and supported this year. I know I have a community and people to turn to despite being in a new city. A particular highlight for me is the adopt-a-student scheme. Through this, we’ve been on a walk to get coffee and I’ve been delivered homemade meals (even adapting to me been veggie with a delicious aubergine curry) to eat together on Zoom. (Thank you Emily, Sarah and Bethan). I’m excited for the rest of the year, for continuing to deepen my relationship with God and do life with people.