The best part was that our neighbor M came over. His mom is a friend of ours, but he's a 21 year old drug addict. I think he put everyone else at rest. If he's here, I guess I'm safe. Surely I'm at least as spiritual as this guy! Besides that, he was a fun addition to the party. Despite his general distaste for religious stuff, he told us that he liked the video and wanted to come back next week. He might even bring a friend.
The other thing I got excited about was that our housekeeper, her teenage daughter, our carpenter, and his wife all came. Our handyman said he was going to come and bring his wife, but at the last minute something came up. I love the idea that all of these people in our normal everyday lives are showing up at Alpha. Doesn't that seem right? We pay these people to work for us, but they're also people we spend a lot of time with and hope we are ministering to (beyond the financial ministry, which I know is meaningful).
And last but not least I was excited to see my friend A (from the retreat) and her local enemy M in the same room. I remembered this week that there is hope for reconciliation, not necessarily through Alpha, but in general. I'm praying that both of them will come back and that being together in my house could be part of God putting things right. This community is desperate for the redeeming love of Jesus to erase all divisions and heal all wounds.
So in general, it was a great night. I can't think of one thing I would change, except maybe that I put milk in the tea (one of I'm sure many cultural faux pas). The social time seemed comfortable, the reactions to the message were positive, and I think we'll have most people back plus a few more. There were definitely some moments where I sensed the intervening protection of God against major problems or distractions, so if that means anything to you, keep up those prayers! We are grateful to be the on-site arm of a team of people who care about this town and are fighting for the expression of God's glory here.