Matteo’s Household Testimony (Edited).
This past November we were able to start a household for the first time in Texas. Since Austin and Dallas (where the members live) are 3 hours and half away we couldn’t meet in the same place every week so we decided to go online. I was kind of new to the concept of a Emmanuel video household so we had to get use to the technology. It’s rather simple, ten minutes before household starts we take our laptop, our speakers, our musical instruments and try to angle the laptop to show our prayer altar while at the same time trying to include everybody else in the room (not always easy!) Then, we open with praise! After doing that for several months we realized that other members could join who otherwise would have been alone and so we were able to include different people from different areas of the USA. Our record so far has been 7 people praying from 4 different places. It is a weird feeling to feel so close to my brothers and sisters even though I am physically far from them. Regardless, I have witnessed that there is so much beauty in wanting to pray together, in listening to each other share, sharing prayer intentions, and in carrying those prayers in our hearts during the following week. Household and prayer really unifies your brothers who are far apart.
Update: We now have two more members who live in Houston!! Thank you Internet and thank you God!
David’s Household Testimony
I was recently invited to experience Matteo’s weekly household in Texas. Although I am living on the East Coast as I prepare to discern with the Emmanuel Community in Brazil, I have been able to join through Google Hangout. I can honestly say that through this simple means of communication, I have received much grace and support through the household. Being able to connect with brothers and sisters that I have heard of or had met at the Emmanuel Community National Gathering this past May was really inspiring and encouraging.
Particularly, this was helpful because of the prolonged struggles with getting my visa for Brazil. In the midst of this, the sharing and prayers of my Emmanuel brothers and sisters were particularly powerful. During my first household experience one of the members shared this Scripture that they believed they were receiving form the Lord: “Then He (Jesus) looked seated in a circle around Him and said, “here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s Will is my brother and sister and mother” (Mark 3: 34-35) This verse convicted me strongly. I am so grateful for these encounters with my community brothers and sister. It truly reminds me of the truth that “God is with us”, overcoming our differences and physical separations. When we gather, even through the internet, the Lord is present in a unique way.
Update: I have received my visa and will be leaving for Brazil on September 3rd!