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Hopeful Story, July 29, 2018

  Before graduating from seminary, I told God I needed a spouse. I didn’t want to do ministry alone. The thought of moving somewhere away from my home community and living by myself – being a household of one – was overwhelming.
  A year ago I graduated from Calvin Seminary and became a candidate for ministry in the Christian Reformed Church. Nine months ago a significant relationship ended differently than we had hoped. Three months ago I left my home in Sarnia and moved here to work as the Director of Worship. I became a household of one.
  As expected, there are lonely moments. But there are also incredible friends – old and new – who encourage me, pray for me, and share their lives with me. From encouraging emails to thoughtful welcome gifts to tips about where to find a good doctor and dentist to invitations to lunch and dinner, people at Hope Fellowship have welcomed me in.
  God is teaching me that I don’t need to be in a romantic relationship to experience deep and meaningful community. My household size may be one, but that doesn’t mean I am alone.
  Our World Belongs to God expresses the Christian faith in light of contemporary issues. I love how it describes the church:
In our world, where many journey alone, nameless in the bustling crowd, Satan and his evil forces seek whom they may scatter and isolate; but God, by his gracious choosing in Christ, gathers a new community—those who by God’s gift put their trust in Christ. In the new community all are welcome: the homeless come home, the broken find healing, the sinner makes a new start, the despised are esteemed, the least are honored, and the last are first. Here the Spirit guides and grace abounds.
  In Christ this is my family. Through my Life Group, the Ignite group for young adults, and weekly worship at Hope Fellowship I am reminded that none of us does life alone.
  Thank you, Hope Fellowship Church, for welcoming households of all sizes and inviting them to belong to the family of God.
- Nicole Veenkamp