We never realized how much we missed the “community” feeling that living in the same area can bring, until it wasn’t there. Having the familiar to lean back on is one thing that can be easily taken for granted, and living in the unfamiliar can shine a light on that.
We never know exactly what to expect when we get to a new place, even with all of the research we do before hand. Most of my work assignments have only been 2-3 months, which limits the time to build any kind of lasting relationship with anyone. However, this time we landed for 5 months. And finally, after a year on the road, we found that feeling of community in Roseburg, Oregon!
(I have wrote in the past about some of these feelings of community and how we try to find ways to attain them while on the road:
I’ve thought a lot about what has made this place different from all of the others, and why it was so easy to gain that community feeling. Reflecting over our time spent here these past few months brings to mind several memories; most of which, involve the many lovely people we’ve met and now call friends. During this time, I noticed a few differences in how we spent our time in this community compared to the past places we’ve called home.
1. Community Involvement
This has been the biggest difference since being in Roseburg. We were lucky enough to live only 6 miles from a YMCA and had the luxury of a bike lane along the entire route. We took advantage of many aspects of the local Y. Community and member family swims, child watch for the kids during workouts (which Amelia loved), enrolled Griffin in 2-day per week preschool, and Itty Bitty soccer and basketball for Griffin. These many trips to the Y allowed us to run into several of the same families! One of these families have left a lasting impression on us and we will cherish the time we got to spend with them. The Smith family will be lifelong friends. We were able to share many adventures with them and their two kids; trip to the safari park, ride through the Festival of Lights, couples date, exchanging babysitting services, birthday celebrations, girl’s night out, and play dates with the kids!
2. Church Family
One of the most challenging things about a new place, is finding a church to call home for the short period we’re there. The kids and I are regular attenders of a Sunday fellowship, which gives our non-churched stay at home dad/husband a chance to relax without interruptions from the little people. We feel fortunate to have stumbled into Wellspring Bible Fellowship early in our stay and felt welcomed by everyone. We found a good fit amongst some great and loving people. Sunday school, a weekly small group, caroling at local nursing facilities, Christmas drama, and a New Year’s Eve party were a few of the activities we were involved in with our Wellspring friends.
3. Togetherness in light of tragedy
On October 1st, an event happened in Roseburg that has forever changed this community and affected so many lives. I have never been so near to or made aware daily of such tragedy. The mass school shooting at Umpqua Community College definitely added to a closeness within the community. It is unfortunate that it seemed to take such a tragedy to bring people together regardless of their differences. The support that the people of Roseburg provided to everyone in the community was heart warming. There were multiple events and fundraisers and nearly every business that had a marque, showed their support. #UCCStrong #RoseburgStrong #IAmAChristian
Looking forward to the next adventure, while having to leave our new friends behind is what makes finding a community on the road so bittersweet!