Community: The Gift of Life

After less than a month in Croatia, our family found ourselves in one of our saddest moments in a long time. Besides being away from family, friends and community, we were also catching the tail end of winter in Dubrovnik, full of strong winds, cold temperatures and rain. To make matters worse, my wife and kids came down with the flu.

After many prayers and tears, I decided to go online and allow myself to be a little vulnerable. I went to a local Dubrovnik group on Facebook and wrote a small paragraph saying, “family of four looking for community . . .” along with a few other details. That same day, we received a response from a family. Soon, they introduced us to many other individuals and families in the area looking for community. A new world began opening up for us. Instead of a feeling of living somewhere different, we began integrating into a community of people with whom we could share life.

Of the many wonderful people we have met, one family with a gift of hospitality stands out. The husband, wife and their two children opened to us the doors to their house and their hearts. At least once a week, they invite us over. The best part is that they get our humor, so our visits are full of laughs and great conversations. Among our many chats, they shared with us their fears, worries and past regrets. We, in turn, shared the hope of the gospel with them and how Jesus has carried our lives, marriage and family. Since then, we have been blessed to pray and have vespers with this beautiful family.

As summer now comes to a close, we are worried about the cold, winds and rain that winter brings. But we know that this winter, we will not be alone. God is with us, and those He brings into our lives create a wonderful community.

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