Part One found here.
Alrighty, so the letter! Well, let me give you a little background first…
I grew up in the Southwest; a part of the Southwest that is a mixture of Deep South Texas with a little Wild West thrown in. I think that’s a pretty apt description. We liked our religion and our football and our cows. And chances are…if you went to church, you were a Southern Baptist. Ok, well, not everyone was an SB, but that was my world! Other than what I was born and raised in, I’d been to one Christmas Catholic Mass that was beautiful and one service at an Assemblies of God church where I tried to shrink inside myself while everyone spoke in tongues.
When we moved to Maine, my eyes were opened to the fact that there were more than Southern Baptists out there…I honest to goodness thought that was all there was, Baptist-wise. Seriously!
In Maine, there are no Southern Baptists. It is the Northeast, after all. When you grow up in one denomination, you get kind of comfortable with it, so it was different, trying out new churches. We visited a few, but hadn’t really found our niche. We were closing in on one church out of desperation, but I was wicked disappointed because they weren’t too swift on the idea of my being involved with the youth group as a helper.
I’ll back up a little bit more there…I had a truly fantastic experience in my church’s youth group. It shaped my life in a tangible way, and there were multiple adults who made such an impact on my life that I wanted to do the same for other kids as they did for me. I worked with a youth group when I graduated high school, and I wanted to continue!
So to catch back up, a day or two after the leaders of this particular church told us they didn’t really need any youth helpers, we received The Letter.
Back in New Mexico, my grandmother had watched a video put out by the Southern Baptist Mission Board, and in it they portrayed a small SB mission church…in Central Maine! Not only was it 15 minutes from where we lived, but they had a sizable youth group and were looking for people to help. Grandma’s timing in sending this letter was a God Thing. I missed my friends back home to a huge degree, and it seemed that this new church might dispel a little of that loneliness.
The following Sunday we struck out for the church, winding our way across little country roads, almost giving up hope that we would make it. But we arrived, albeit late (I hate being late) and we crept up the stairs with our eyes on the back row. Mom scooted in, then myself, then my dad…but mom popped up and said “change seats with me!”
I did, and looked to my left…
And we’ll continue in few days. 🙂