Saturday, September 25, 2010

Are you there Allah? It's me, Amber

The Hubbins and I went to church today! Thanks to friends with connections in Aramco, we were able to get on to the Aramco camp (don't call it a compound. or a base. It's a camp. You only make that mistake once.) for Bible study and worship service with the Anglican congregation there. Needless to say it was a long way from our usual worship service back in Brentwood (it lacked a few thousand participants), but it was very nice to be able to connect with a like-minded community that was so warm and welcoming.

**In case you're wondering, Aramco is the Saudi/American oil company that has its own campus where they house their expatriate employees. Once you go through the gates, it's like driving into a movie set of a suburb in northern Florida. The architecture is very Floridian, and they've brought in sod and mature trees. As fun as it was to be in a more "familiar" milieu, I am very happy to not be living on a compound like that. I feel like we're getting a more genuinely Saudi experience. It will be nice to be able to visit Narnia every now and then, though**

It's been a long long time since I attended a small church. I'd forgotten how hard it is to be invisible in a congregation of TWENTY (on a good day). This group was so friendly and immediately made us feel so at home. And there was a potluck lunch after the service!! I was telling the Mister that I don't remember the last time I went to a potluck lunch at church! Oh man the food was sooo good, and sooo completely not like home. There wasn't a single deviled egg or cold pasta salad in the whole place! We had Ghanan stew, Indian rice, an Arabic eggplant dish, and a Thai beef concoction. Oh wow was it so wonderful!

There is a more Protestant group on the Aramco camp that has a larger congregation, so we might try that one out next week. I feel a certain sense of fidelity to this group because they were so helpful and nice to us today. But I definitely don't really connect in an Anglican kind of worship, so we might have to find a way to stay connected with both groups.

Vicariously yours,

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