Saturday, January 18, 2014

My Church Family

It all started about 10 years ago when my family and I lived in a little suburb called Flagstone. My sister Katie attended the local primary as I did. She met this beautiful dark skinned, tightly curled brown headed girl, called Olivia. And they became really good friends.

As little girls like to do and play with dolls. The mother’s arranged a play day for the girls. As I have come to learn that my mother LOVE’S to talk, so when she found someone to talk too, she was really excited! Little de we know, the conversation that the mother’s were talking about was about the church Aunty Bec (as we now call her) goes too. You would be curious too if she told you that her family doesn't keep Easter or Christmas. But she is not a Jehovah Witness.

2 years after moving to flagstone, we moved again, about 900km north of the state to a small mining community called Blackwater.

I can’t recall having a lot to do with the family. But mum keep in contact, as she likes to do with all her friends. Throughout the 7 years we lived in Blackwater, my mum received the free Literature that was offered by the church. She found it very interesting.

In 2011, Aunty Bec asked my if we would like to go down to Victor Harbour in South Australia in October, this was were their Feast of Tabernacle was being keep. We all agree to go down. Weeks Prior going down we studies as a family to prepare ourselves of what they would be teaching.

For the first night the Tyler’s and the Montgomery’s (Tyler’s is Aunty Bec’s Family and the Monty’s was another family) invited us over to their place to have a meal, because the airport managed to send our luggage to another state. It was really and interesting night. As we use “OMG” and “I swear to God” freely in todays society, it was not used at all! It was because if they use these words is breaking the 3rd commandment. You shall not take the lords name in vain (Exodus 20:7).

The first evening of the feast of Tabernacles we asked Aunty Bec “what should we wear?” all she said was casual clothes. As we drove into the parking lot we saw people walking in with suit. We sat in the car deciding if we should go home and change into some more formal clothing. So we drove home and changed. Walking through the Convention Centre doors that seated 300 people, we were greeted by these well-dressed smiling teenagers.

I recall Olivia giving each of us a big hug, then taking us over to the rest of the teens and introducing us. They were all very well mannered and very welcoming! They asked us about our flight and asked if we liked South Australia.

Church to me at 17 didn’t really fuss me because society has so many different religions it hard to find one that really makes sense. I found it so difficult to find a place that made sense to me! At this point in time I was also trying to finish year 12, with only a few weeks left of school forever! So you could imagine my brain. If you must know I finished year 12 with a Very High Academic Award.

When I was at the Feast I did learn great deal, going to church everyday for 8 days. I learnt they didn’t keep Christmas or Easter. What was going to happen to this world and what you need to do to be baptised.

One of the presentations that the minister of the Adelaide area was taking about Living University what was offered at the Church in Australia. Living University is designed to help give people a better understanding of the bible. It wasn’t something that I was considering, but wanted to go to see what it was all about.

After returning home from the trip in SA. I started readying the literature.

I graduate school in early November and continued to work for mum out at the mines. The idea of trying something completely new and learning more about the church was potentially an idea that I could do around June the following year.

I had a little conflict with my mother because I wasn’t doing certain things at work. This purely occurred because my mother thought I knew everything that was meant to happen.

Because I didn’t want to stay in Blackwater much longer! I had rung Mr Tyler who is Aunty Bec’s husband and asked if I could come down and do one of their LU classes while I studied my Interior Design Course. He gladly said yes! I think he knew that because I was so new to the church that if I felt out of place that I could go home which made me feel good. They weren’t forcing me to say. They believe that people are called into this church, because it is written in the bible “only few will know”.

A month later I moved into a 3-bedroom house with 3 other ladies. Deb who had been at LU for the past 1 and ½ years. Holly who moved from New Zealand. And Becky who was the same age as me, that moved from Brisbane.

A few months after moving in with the ladies, Deb was offered a job in Brisbane that she couldn’t refuse because it was something that she loved!

Then there were 3, Becky and I had shared a bedroom from the beginning we would talk til late. Watch movies to the early hours of the morning. We even shared clothes. You could say we are like sisters.

A couple of months into the course, I found it very difficult to understand the assignments and would require the help of someone who knew what they were talking about. Even then I was still struggling to understand. So I discussed it with the minister that I have tried my best and I stopped that course.

Now here comes the best bit my parents had been discussing to move down to SA. Because Blackwater was not a place you could grow old. So the idea of living down in SA was an open idea. Some didn’t want to purely because of high school. They had friends and it would have been hard to change schools.  There was this house that was around the corner from the Montgomery’s place; Mum emailed Aunty Vicky to see if she could check it out! Unaware that they had a look at it. I think God had something in mind.

To see whether the house would be suitable to live in. Mum and dad arrange a house visit and a surprise Church visited to see me! Couple of month later the house was sold. I moved into the 4-bedroom house with a pool and tennis court by myself (you could say I enjoyed that time alone).

In August my parent made the 2,000km trip from Blackwater to Willunga with 2 cars loaded, a trailer and caravan.

Moving already to 2 different houses, (we are a family of renovators), in SA. My family and I have found a beautiful vineyard located in the Hills, which we now live in.

I have the amazing opportunities to meet other singles, on the Single Camps that the Church has organised. They believe recapturing true values is essential part of establishing a healthy relationship. These events have help connect the most of the singles of all ages to a location enjoying others company. We are all in the same boat and there is no pressure. I love it because I get to meet more people! I am looking forward to the New Zealand’s Singles Camp in February (2014).

That decision to move down here was purely my own. I didn’t believe working 12 hours shifts; about 7 days a week was something worth living for. I guess I am one of many who have been called into this church and to understand this wonderful knowledge, that doesn’t go by mainstream beliefs. Some have said because I am so young and are able to understand this knowledge, that it’s so rare.

My life has changed dramatically since moving to LU in 2012. And I have no regrets. I have come to understand the importance God has in your life and that every decision you make leaves a huge footprint in how the rest of your life pans out. I have in no way, every felt pressured to say here, it would have been too hard to leave. I have never felt so much love and concern than I have in all my years. When people ask me why did you moved down here, because of relatives? I don’t have any family down here, but I say “yes, my church family”!

I’m not written to preach to you, it’s not my job! If you would like to see what my church believes please chick here.

EB xx