by Trudi Prins
First Christian Reformed Church
St Thomas, ON
Our church community has been blessed since 1991 with a club we call Friendship Club, because friends care about each other, enjoy each other’s company, and look out for each other. We sing, pray, learn Bible stories, enjoy snack, and make crafts together. From the time Roz garlands our necks with name tags to the end of the evening as we join hands in singing, we are reminded that we are all part of a circle receiving God’s love. Music is a big part of expressing our joy, and Annie Robert’s piano playing is always a highlight of our Wednesday evenings.
At Friendship, we listen to each other’s concerns, joys and sorrows, and care for each other as unique personalities. For Helen, the year was always just a prelude for the really important day – her “birt’day,” as in “my birt’day’s tum’n up!” She began this reminder immediately after each birthday to keep us on track for the next year. Randy was our drummer and always got a starring role when we sang The Little Drummer Boy. Roy’s favourite song was “What A Friend We Have in Jesus” and he once waved off my hovering assistance for his reading at a Christmas program as if swatting off a fly, which made everyone laugh. Keith has a delightfully droll British sense of humour. Frankie was always interested in politics and local events, so we dubbed him “Mr. Mayor.” Peter faithfully reminded us twice-yearly to change our clocks. David may be unable to speak, but he understands everything and can write down what he needs to communicate for prayer requests. Marjory would ask about our loved ones, “how’s yo honey?” Tracey loves to make art.
In Friendship, we’ve been blessed with an interdenominational group, mentors and students from a variety of church backgrounds. We just all love Jesus. We’ve seen God provide for our needs and answer our prayers, unconventional though they may be. This includes petitions for a sick horse, new porch steps, various digestive and other ailments not normally mentioned in polite company. The horse recovered, instead of porch steps the petition was answered with a whole new place to live, and our intercessory prayers for healing were heard. There’s an honesty and simplicity about the group that is very attractive. It keeps us coming back week after week, and year after year. At Friendship we can see that each person is important to God, that he values them just as they are.
Our Friends are God’s gifts to us as individuals, and a blessing to the whole church community. We are so thankful for them!