Leaving a Regions Beyond gathering is always a bit problematic. Trying to do mass-hugs with 30 people whilst all simultaneously leaving a building, it gets tricky.
We heard amazing stories as we munched through our popadoms at mealtimes, and through a few interviews each day. Our people are quietly doing heroic things, and I felt a renewed determination to pray for them and stay connected. Some situations are really lonely, or dangerous or just plain enormous!!
As the days passed, our timetable went from ‘right, try and be back at this time’ through phases of ‘Ok we’re running a bit late now’ until we were at ‘look, the timetable’s completely wrecked and nobody is even sure what day it is’. And as we worked our way through the 11 topics we felt a growing sense of appreciation and wonder at all that God has given us. It became a bit of a joke that each separate value was THE most important one, because they’re all important and they’re all wonderful. (Were they more like ‘distinctives’? Were they to be considered a ‘creed’? Were they ‘flavours’?…) We concluded that they were not a list to present to newcomers, but a description of what newcomers will find when they join us. It’s pretty cool to think that there are friends we haven’t met yet, who will come to discover these treasures one day in the future, and we will be family together in Regions Beyond.
Pam Nichols is a writer, and she loves to take photos and generally observe life. She draws inspiration from her family, her faith and https://fivegofurther.wordpress.com/her new surroundings in South Africa. She has recently moved with her family to church plant in Bloemfontein from Worthing UK. You can follow her on her blog fivegofurther.