Pregi Febriani grew up in Indonesia and came to the U.S. for her bachelor’s and master’s degree in hospitality. She knew when she arrived in the U.S. that she wanted to find a community. “I was looking for a church family because I didn’t have family in the U.S. The way I was raised, you always have God, and you can just pray, as simple as that, but I knew I also needed a community.”
After moving to Florida with a friend, Pregi began sitting on the back row of congregations in search for the one she would call her home. “I am very introverted so if the church is too small everyone will know I am new, and if the church it too big it might not feel like a family. I would sit in the back and get a feel for the churches.”
First Presbyterian was similar to her church back home. “The people greeted me and made me feel welcomed, but they didn’t overwhelm me.”
Even when Pregi works late nights at the hotel and restaurant, she still tries to get up and go to church. “My parents say that an hour at church can make your whole week different. You can read the Bible and pray but coming to church is a way to give yourself a break and be in community.”
After her children were born, she appreciated that the church provided ways for families to gather. Now, as her children are aging, she values Dr. Hood's weekly prayers and meditation books. “Sometimes I feel like I pray the way I teach my children to pray. I just say, 'God thank you for this day, I hope it is good.' Dr. Hood’s prayers and messages are educational and inspirational, and I like to have his book with me. I spend a lot of time in the car rider line at school to pick up my children. I can pull the book out and just read one paragraph again and again for inspiration. That is what I need sometimes. Other times, I can read pages; but God always finds a way to give me what I need at that time.”
Pregi is grateful that she and her family call First Presbyterian their family here in the U.S.