I remember a time at our church when, during the winter months, everyone kept their coats on. We had a big heat pump, but it just wasn’t able to put out sufficient warmth. We had technicians work on it, but to no avail. Finally, a man whose wife came to our church (he worked in HVAC) took a look at the unit. He said, “It was wired wrong.” He fixed it and from then on, our church was warm all winter.
But that’s not the kind of coldness I’m talking about. Churches can be frigid in other ways. A friend moved and has tried to find a new church. When he attended one that was close to home, he was met with an icy welcome. First, just to get into the building, he had to move around some guys that were blocking the entrance (one turned out to be the speaker that morning). Those men never made eye contact or said a word to my friend. He was treated like a non-entity. Then, once inside the auditorium of this smaller church, it was obvious my friend was a visitor, but no one said a word to him. He felt shunned. Finally, to leave, the same group of guys were blocking the exit. Same thing: not a word. Obviously, there would be no second visit.
You don’t run into this kind of chill in India or Rwanda. The churches there are smaller and everyone in attendance is known in the village so there are no strangers. Of course, I’ve only witnessed a few churches as an American visitor and I couldn’t understand the small talk but they appear to be friendly.
I think the difference in warmth of the churches is because Jesus-followers are a small minority in these other countries, so they cherish the time of fellowship. Be assured that your donations encourage these believers to persevere through their weekdays and look forward to meeting together on Sundays.