We thought today was going to be a lazy Sunday with nothing big going on, but our day ended completely differently than I thought!
This morning we went up to the Gaw’s apartment (our leaders/professor) to have a church service as a group. We sang songs, Dr. Gaw preached, and we took communion together. The entire time, church bells were ringing in the background, so beautiful. His sermon was basically giving us a background on his belief system, which was really great to hear. I’m always grateful to have professors who share the same faith as me. Our entire group is thankful to have Dr. Gaw and his wife here. After church, I went back to sleep (sweet Savannah brought me breakfast in bed). We spent the rest of the afternoon doing homework, cleaning, and being lazy: what college students do best.
We went to dinner with the guys at a pub around the corner, The Lamb and Lion. The food wasn’t terrible, but the dessert was great (2-for-1 chocolate cake…yes please). As we were walking home, we passed some other members of our group who were going to Bath City Church for their night service. I decided to join, and it was the best decision I made all day. Even better than deciding to order chocolate cake.
The night service was dedicated to young adults and students, so we fit right in. The building is directly across the street from our apartments, in an old cinema. We met a sweet woman named Esther, who ended up being the worship leader that evening. The service began with a few members giving testimonies about what work they had done for the kingdom this summer; the stories were incredible, like nothing I had ever heard before. They shared stories of healing and power, it was amazing! Worship, to say the least, was incredible. Everyone felt free enough to praise in their own way, and it seemed like everyone was doing something different. Some people were standing and others sitting, a few were shouting but some were content with humming. There wasn’t harmonious clapping, but some were anyways. It was just really, truly amazing. I wasn’t familiar with many of the songs, but that didn’t matter. The sermon was a bit hard to understand, simply because of the accent. I found myself having to intentionally listen and focus. At the end of the service, the young adults minister called “all those from America” up to the front, and the church prayed over us. Everyone was so welcoming, and it was so good to feel God’s presence.
Apparently, the normal thing to do after church, at least in Bath, is to go to the pub! We met so many people after the service, so we followed them to The Cosy Club and sat talking for a while. The Brits we met were so great; we had conversations that were light-hearted, some about faith, and lots about America. I had met a girl my age, so we discussed the difference in culture for a bit. She and her friends were fascinated by America’s education system and my thought my Southern accent was so cool (which I found really amusing). The imitations of them saying “college” and “y’all” were priceless. I also learned a new British word today: uni. Instead of university, literally everyone says “you-knee.” Like unibrow or unicycle. It was really strange when I heard it for the first time, but as the night went on I had even begun saying it. It was great to meet new people and connect with people of faith in this area. I feel so blessed to have BCC right across the street! I should probably start getting used to God putting these unexpected experiences and people in my life; tonight was so great!