Building Community

BY Sammy Musyimi

Coming from Kenya, I only knew my wife and a friend from Grace Church. I landed here on January 28, 2017. I could not believe that this was a fresh beginning in my life, and being here in America, I had to start a fresh network of friends and family to surround me. It felt so hard to socialize with anyone. Everything looked so different, and the people felt socially distant. Days went by and weeks and months passed, and one of the greatest struggles became homesickness and loneliness. I had met my wife’s family members; they were all welcoming but still had their own schedules to attend to. Meanwhile, I was still trying to rekindle relationships with friends that I had left back in Nairobi. This proved to be difficult due to time difference, opposite schedules, and the 12,851 kilometers that now separated us.

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My wife introduced me to Grace Church, and I met David Bell, the pastor of Center for Church Leadership. He gladly requested that we join the leader developmental internship. My wife and I jumped in, and before I knew it, I started to feel alive again socially. Suddenly I had several ministerial engagements at Grace’s North Indy campus, and Grace Church became my home. All the loneliness and homesickness that I was feeling slowly faded away, and all I wanted was to serve with my wife. Kenya is an extremely social culture, we thrive off community and deeply knowing each other. Before moving here, I never knew the realities that existed within isolation, how painful and lonely it can truly be. My journey of isolation is slowing fading the more God engages me here. I still miss the familiarity of home, but through the opportunities CCL brings in forming community, attending classes, and lifelong friendships, I now see how God wanted me here in this season and is using it to further develop my understanding and empathy toward the broken place of isolation.