This post was originally posted on Redeemer City to City's blog.
Good community is hard to find. And, it's even harder in a large international city like Brussels where the Christian population is so small.
Despite this reality, I found my time in Brussels to be quite the opposite. The community that Matthieu and Olivier are cultivating through their new church plant is rich and deep. It's full of diversity, open hearts, and friendship.
Laura and I were guests in Matthieu's home during our short stay in Brussels and this is where I experienced community the most; he and his lovely wife, Christella, were such gracious hosts. They fed us delicious food, told us wonderful stories, and shared their lives with us. But what made the stay even more grand was the constant influx of community and friends.
We would wake up each morning and hear beautiful hymns being sung by Matt, Christella, and ... three or four other core group members. Each morning. Before work! (Did I mention Laura and I weren't even out of bed yet?) It was a sight to behold. We would all sit down at the table together for breakfast. We would pray, we would chat, and we would enjoy life together. The bonds were so strong that I felt a part of it after having been there only one day.
This breakfast experience only scratched the surface of the community there. Members from the core group met us for lunch. They hosted us at their office cafeteria. They toured us around the city in the evening and gave us a crash course in Brussels history.
So, why does any of this matter? I'm glad you asked. Since there hasn't been an evangelical church planted by Brusselites, for Brusselites in this neighborhood in the last 13 years, having an approachable, friendly, deep community is quite important. Église Protestante de la Cambre is blessing their neighborhood already. They're displaying the love of Christ to those around them in the way they love each other so well.