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Closer to God

God is present in the midst of this small group.

My name is Josefa Dhea Ariella. For me, to be in a Holy Trinity Community (HTC) Melbourne cell group is like having a new family. Especially for the Indonesian students who came to study in the Kangaroo country. Here, family is not a mere word, but a cell group is truly a place to share as in a family, with it come blessings as well as obligations.

Sometime there were free food, coupons, discount vouchers, news from around Melbourne and Australia, and the most important thing is the blessing of prayers and support when what I share were burdens, which could be life burdens, depression from looking for a job or a life partner, doing home works, exams, being ill, etc. 

Feeling Comfortable

The first time I arrived in Melbourne in 2018, I didn’t know anybody. However, I was already trying to find a new community ever since, because I was used to be in one in Indonesia.

Fortunately, my older brother who lived in the US had already joined HTC and had a friend in Melbourne who happened to be the servant of St. Simon Peter’s cell group, Stefani Sindarto. So, my brother left me to Stefani and I was invited to visit her cell group.

I didn’t feel strange with a charismatic community. So, I was immediately feeling comfortable when I first came to the cell group meeting and I became a member of St. Simon Peter’s cell group until now.

Spirit to Serve

A cell group might sound too spiritual for people who had never been in a community before. However, HTC cell groups are presented to be easy and fun. The number of members of one cell group is little that anyone could be easily included and open to one another. Moreover, the cell groups are categorized by age that we can easily adapt.

A cell group is an ideal place to learn to serve, because when we serve each other amongst members, no one would feel patronized or shy. Leading a praise and worship, being a music accompanist, or sharing the Words of God, all of them could be done by the cell group’s own members.

That wasn’t the only benefit, as I also managed to deepen my understanding of the teachings of the bible that I couldn’t get only from listening the homily in a mass, yet I could get it from the teachings in the cell group meetings.

The Presence of God

Experiences of God’s love shared by my cell group mates made me no longer homesick. I now feel at home in Melbourne. Such experiences make me grow into a better person because God is present in the midst of this little group and everything that happens in it turns into a private story amongst the cell group members only.

The kinship amongst the cell group members would not be found in a regular school friendship, because we pray for each other. We gain the experience of having a real family, although it could also be a sad and difficult time when one of the members has to return to Indonesia for good. 

The cell group keeps me close to God while I don’t have my parents to tell me off when I start to go astray.