Today’s the last day! We have to leave the cheap gas prices ($2.29 vs. $3.75 in the Bay Area?!) and strangely interesting food like chocolate hummus spread, 7up cake, and Texas-sized donuts behind. Because today’s schedule isn’t as packed as the previous days, we met at the meeting hall later than usual and were able to spend more time with our hospitality hosts! 😀 I can only speak for our specific experience, but we (Felicia, Christine, Jasmine, and I) were really cherished by the believers here in Austin. We were joined in breakfast (which was basically a feast!) by a believer from Round Rock we met in a home meeting yesterday and proceeded to have much overflow of life. I enjoyed from the readings that to be built up in Christ’s Body means to be one–not individualistic, but corporate. Practically speaking, we can be built up with others just by spending time with them and gaining more of Christ through each one’s portion. I was really struck when the sister said that we were salvation to her because of the rough week she had before hosting us. I underestimated how much mutual watering there’d be–but the Lord as such a sovereign One has a way to use the Body to bring us out of our situations and to even distribute one’s burdens across a “support net” that is His Body! It just felt so natural to care for and be cared for by other brothers and sisters we’ve never met before (but feels like we did). All of the believers in Texas were really testimonies of the Lord’s One Body, so Hallelujah for His One Body!
The last day of the spring break trip has, unfortunately, arrived. It seemed like just yesterday that we stumbled into the airport at Dallas, eager for the adventures and fellowship to come. Now, with a whole past week of rich experiences of Christ, we couldn’t wait for a new day to blend with the saints in Austin as well as with each other.
The highlight of my day was when we went to Mount Bonnel, where we were able to take a bunch of cool pictures featuring the Colorado River in the background. Later on, we also visited the 360 Bridge, where we were able to see the city of Austin from an eagle’s point of view. Here, as well as on Mount Bonnel, we were all able to behold and appreciate God’s creation (Genesis 1:1).
The best part of my week was, surprisingly, yesterday night at a home meeting with Amalia, my host. We started out eating a delicious dinner which was followed by some singing and fellowship. What I especially enjoyed during the singing is that they not only sang the hymn, but they also would point out some supporting verses to the hymns we were singing. One of the songs was Hymn 523, which says “In the stripes by whose pain we are healed, / In Himself as He comes to abide.” This verse can be found in Isaiah 53:5.
Overall, it was so enjoyable to spend this past week blending with the saints in Texas. The church life really is so sweet. May the Lord continue to blend us and build us up with one another!
The day came and it went, and now I’m sitting in the comfort of my desk chair in good ol’ Berkeley, California. Our day actually started off a lot later than usual (11 AM WOW) and we were able to get some nice Texas viewpoints in before we left. Some of our brothers and sisters from UT Austin actually joined us for these last moments and we got to eat lunch with them at Homeslice (and other places) in South Congress. Although the wait was long and the seating limited, it was actually quite fun being able to catch up and talk to them after busy days of gospel preaching and ministry meetings. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that we’re all one Body of Christ and not just individual Christians, and that being able to fellowship with them is a blessing in itself. We unfortunately had to leave them to head to the airport, but, wow, am I going to miss Austin (but not the weird nose congestion that happened because that was just weird). This was actually my last spring break trip, and although it’s bittersweet that it’s ended, I’m really glad that I was able to spend it with so many of my brothers and sisters in Christ. And who knows, maybe I’ll pop over to Austin again sometime. 😀