One of my larger concerns in returning to South Dakota was and has continued to be finding fellowship – for me and for my family.

In Turkey we had good friends – both Turks and other expats – and were continually amazed by the quality of those people, the depth of their faith and the generosity of spirit that we received from the time and again.

So when we visited a small home church last Thursday night in Sioux Falls, we didn’t know what to expect.  Some friends of ours were visiting and so we decided to tag along.

It started well when we found out that they share a meal together before meeting each week.  Food is often a prime ingredient to fellowship and as a bonus there was an amazing artichoke dish of which I was fortunate enough to be able to indulge in three helpings.

The service was great, but we were blown away with love when they began to ask about our time in Turkey and how we were doing,  how they could help us transition back and if they could pray for us.

And they listened – really listened.  

Afterward I was reminded of a Bonhoeffer quote:

The first service one owes to others in the fellowship consists in listening to them. Just as love of God begins in listening to His Word, so the beginning of love for the brethren is learning to listen to them. It is God’s love for us that He not only gives us His Word but lends us His ear. So it is His work that we do for our brother when we learn to listen to him.

Listening – really listening to others is a powerful action.  We felt how important it was as we shared bits of our story, of our desires for the future and as they responded in generous love and prayer.

I was challenged to do a better job of listening myself.

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