Question:First, I want to thank you for this web site. I've visited it quite frequently over the past several years, and it has helped me to understand more about what the Word says. I found myself amazed that questions I had been asking myself had already been asked by previous viewers. It's helped me to realize that I'm not alone in any of the struggles I face.
But now I have a question myself that I haven't seen addressed yet in some form or another. I am a Senior in High School and in the spring, we have our class Europe Trip. I finally got it all paid off and thought everything was smooth sailing from here on, but then I realized that, as the trip would be nine days long, I would be missing at least three or four church services.
I'm not sure what I should do, though. Is there a way in which I can still have church services and worship God while in Europe? Whether or not there are strong congregations in Europe, I don't know; really, I'm not sure how much of an impact it would have, due to the language barriers. I guess really what I'm doing is asking for advice. I appreciate any help that you can give me. Thank you.
I'm glad you are thinking ahead. So many get excited about a trip and forget to put God first in their thoughts. "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you" (Matthew 6:33). Since this is a planned trip, it means you know where you will be on each day of the week. First, you need to get your parent's permission to leave the tour group on a temporary basis. See what the school and the tour leaders need. Second, locate a nearby congregation that you can attend and write to them or call them to see if someone can pick you up at the hotel and return you to the group after services. You will need the times of the service and the approximate drive time to include in your permission. It would be really great if there several in your group who are members of the church and can attend with you -- or if need be, a group of Christians can hold a small service on their own.
You will be surprised to find that many churches are able to accommodate English speakers in their service. I attended services in Tokyo several times. The congregation had English and Japanese Bible classes and for sermons. When they gathered for worship, the English speakers sat on one side and the Japanese sat on the other. Songs were announced in both languages and each group sang the same song, but in their own tongue. Prayers and comments regarding the Lord's Supper were offered in both languages, one after the other. If you happen to be near an American military base, you will likely find a small group worship near or on the base.
Such contact with local Christians is often more memorial than packaged tours. If you need help locating a nearby congregation, let me know.
Since your time is not your own, you probably won't be able to get away as often as you would like, such as to go to a mid-week study. Bring a small Bible along with you and perhaps several lessons you would like to study. Invite others in your group to join you in a study during one of your breaks, or if you can't get anyone else interested, take time to study on your own.