Sometimes it’s just about showing up
A Note From Temple:
Greetings friends and family back home in the good ol US of A. We are still finding our footing here in Southall. I’ve had to abandon my efforts to get the house in order so that I could focus on getting my kids music classes up and running. So we are still cleaning around the piles and constantly trying to remember where we left something.
I’ve been running around like the proverbial headless chicken focused on the next step in front of me and missing the forest for the trees. How do you like that mixed, cliched metaphor? 😉 But truly I’ve not been really thinking about such lofty things as kingdom work lately. Turns out I don’t really have to think about it that much.
We wound up putting the kids into school earlier than anticipated and figuring out after registering that we’ve put them in a school that is close by as the crow flies but as buses trudge not so much. So I’ve been spending quite a bit of time waiting at bus stops and walking my tail off.
I first noticed “R” at the bus stop near the school walking her son in and pushing a stroller with a cute little 12-18 mo baby in it. I noticed that she had pinned the baby’s hood at the top of her head to make it smaller and keep it from slipping off. Not the most flattering way to adapt the hood but still cute in a gnomelike way. So I thought ok, she’s a fairly practical sort. I also noticed that she wears a bindi every day and the bit of henna smear in her hair part. So she’s probably hindu.
We sat near each other at the bus stop several times and finally made eye contact and smiled on the day that I had to take her bus over to the church for Mum and Toddler group so I thought “Hey maybe she would like to bring her baby to the group!” So I invited her and quickly realized that we were going to have trouble communicating because her accent is very thick and my American ears are very unaccustomed to such cadences. But she understood and said that she couldn’t today but maybe another day.
A couple of weeks later I was in the middle of trying to promote my kids music classes and so I gave her a card for a free class and hoped she might join us for a demo. She seemed interested but I had no idea if she would really want to come or not. Or if she would be able to afford the classes if they liked them.
The next week we saw them at the bus stop after school when we were on our way to Kids Club at NLMG and invited them to come with us so her son could enjoy the club too. She was again interested but not able to make it that day.
But then the next week she asked me about it and made plans to come next time. Thankfully we made it to the bus stop in great timing to hook up with them and ride to the church together.
Her son “S” really enjoyed the club and “R” met one of our church members that not only speaks her native tongue but is from her home town! I was really struck by how beautifully providential that meeting was.
So after the kids played football or legos and did crafts and ate a snack they came into the sanctuary to listen to a Bible study on Jonah and then practice a memory verse. So here is “S” sitting with a group of christian kids and a few sikhs and hindus and learning a Bible verse. Probably his first time to hear the scripture.
She is coming to my class next week and seems excited about it. And we’ve been talking a lot more although the language barrier makes me stumble around a bit and her too. I have learned quite a bit about her and I’m struck by how resilient she is. Maybe that’s an immigrant thing born of necessity? Or maybe it’s just her. But she has been through a lot. She told me that the reason she can’t come to my Monday class is because they take an offering to the Temple of Shiva on Mondays.
I am praying that one day she can come to my Monday class.
God is at work here building His kingdom and generously using the likes of me. All I gotta do is show up.