Thursday, 7 October 2010

Is Moving to a New Country Easy?

Well, it depends. The first time I moved to England (alone), it was quite easy. Probably because I was younger and didn't think too much about it! I made some good friends within three months of arriving, took things easy, and found a church that welcomed me in. That church became the foundation for my life here in England, and I appreciated it. I still see friends from that church on occassion.

Second time around (with my husband), however, the answer has to be a "No". Although the country is again England (I returned to South Africa - another 'new country' move - in the meantime), the situation is totally different. Some things were easy. God provided work for my husband (I came over with work intact) within a very short space of time, we had sufficient finances to cover eventualities, and we were able to eventually move into fully-furnished accomodation (plus car) thanks to some dear friends who were moving to South Africa. God does work all things together!

Beyond that, however, it has not been easy at all. We are the outsiders in the community, understandably, but we are also the outsiders in our church. This is, to me, a completely foreign situation, as my understanding of church is that strangers should be welcomed in, tested (do they believe what we believe?), and be made to feel part of the church family.

Writing this over a year and a half after we arrived in the town, I am still struggling to comprehend this. For me, the church family, not clubs and societies, has been what I have learned should be one's avenue for finding stability, friends and fellowship. I feel like I have to question this understanding, due to this figurative carpet being swept out from under my feet.


  1. When going to a new church its important to find out if what they teach is biblical. Its good to introduce yourself to people at the church that you go to and to try and find ways which you can serve in the church that you go to and in the community which you live in. I hope you get to know the people better at the church that your attending and find a way to serve in the church that you go to if your not doing so already. This is an article that I found on that I reccomend that you read.

  2. Hi Mark - thank you so much for your response. The teaching is biblical - we have no problems with that side of things at all. That is my first criterion, you can be assured of that.

    We are working slowly on getting to know people better ... haven't quite found a way to serve yet, but that is partly because of exhaustion from our previous church ... we haven't gone out looking for ways to serve. But perhaps it's time ...

  3. Laurel you are not alone in your feelings about that church, I felt very much on the peripheral at times. I realised you have to push in and keep pushing and keep pushing.

    It's easier here in SA where people open their homes and hearts to you. Hopefully it will stay that way.