When I was growing up, my grandpa was the pastor of the church I attended. The congregation was an extension of our biological family. In fact, we always referred to them as our church family.
When I moved to Europe, one of my top concerns was where I would go to church. I’ve had a number of other friends living across the continent, and I know it can be a challenge to find a good one. This is probably why I was SHOCKED to find C3 Church Lausanne my first weekend here at the beginning of October 2013. With several hundred people meeting on Sunday mornings and a network of established Connect Groups, it was such a fun surprise! I felt connected and at home immediately.
I’ve traveled a lot while here, but every Sunday possible, I went to Lausanne for the Sunday morning service. My pastors were some of the most caring people I’ve ever met. From the conversations with me my first Sunday, to connecting with me on social media, to meeting the MANY visitors I brought with me, to sending me birthday texts, to calling me on moving day to pray with me about this transition, to announcing my move to the congregation today and asking them all to give me a hug good-bye…they have been a wonderful blessing to me in my time here. They have a beautiful heart for the people they are leading.
I’ve been doing an okay job of keeping my composure most of the past week, but this morning, the tears came. I know it’s cathartic, but I feel like I crazy person when I can’t speak because I’m crying! Saying good-bye to this family has been hard…much harder than I anticipated it would be. I know social media will keep us connected and that there will be future reunions, but that doesn’t remove the current sadness.
Even though it’s hard to leave them, I am grateful that God used this family to challenge and encourage me during my time in Switzerland. They have blessed me more than they know, and I am eternally grateful.