Come & See

Author - Keyshawn Parkman

Tears fell during our second week as a team. We gathered around the living room and witnessed each other in our most vulnerable state. As I unpack our week and how we as a team grew closer to each other, let me start by walking through how each of us conquered our fears one by one.

We ended up in an amazing Air BnB this week hosted by close friends of our leaders, Keith and Arlie. We intended to grow closer to one another. There were plenty of emotions to go around. Between excitement, joy, fear, and timidity, I'd have to say the main emotion was anxiety. As we sat wondering what our week would look like, we were stuck with Keith's mantra, "Come and See."

If I had to rank our events, our nights out eating would come close to the top. Keith and Arlie insisted they'd show us around the town, and as someone who wasn't too familiar with the town, I looked forward to the excellent food and the beautiful scenery. The first spot we headed to was Muck and Fuss, and it became one of my favorite burger spots so far. Throughout the week, we grabbed some amazing home-cooked food from Pat's Place and had a chance to hear an amazing testimony from Linda, a good friend of Keith and his wife, Alice. We made our way to the Gristmill, and I got to eat some of the best fried catfish.
Although the food was amazing, and the scenery to compliment it was breathtaking, the conversations we could have at each outing made these wonderful evenings special. Not only were we able to meet some good friends of Keith, Alice, and Arlie, but we also got a chance to hear their testimonies and listen to how God has moved in their lives. They would encourage us through a great meal and fellowship and let us know how excited they were for us. We ended our tour of New Braunfels at Jimmy and Beth Owens' house for more testimonies and encouragement. Jimmy and Beth helped start a gospel movement here in New Braunfels, so to hear their story and listen to them meant a lot to us.

We had an adventurous week. From food tours, testimonies, and sunny evenings floating the River to exploring Natural Bridge Caverns, this week couldn't have been more needed before we head out to Hawaii next week. But the most meaningful time was spent with each other, learning and growing together. Not only did we spend our four days exploring the town and eating good food, but we also had a chance to hear our life stories. As we sat together, ears open in the living room of this Air BnB, we were blessed to witness each other in vulnerability as we heard how God is using each of us to bring Himself glory.
Coupled with the topic of our morning bible reading being out of Job, God couldn't have written the story of our week any better. This week, we're learning that God uses Job and his suffering to teach us that our lives, no matter how good or bad they seem, are meant to glorify God and not us. We're learning that righteousness is not achieved through works but simply by the grace of God and that we're not as in control as we seem to think. Our lessons go hand in hand with our testimonies as each of our stories and how God has intervened has shown us the redemptive love of God in a new light.

All in all, I'm excited about what God has in store for us throughout this year, and to see how many people we have supporting us and loving on us makes this experience even better. Keith says we're in the "honeymoon" phase, meaning as we grow closer, we'll face more challenges. But as we spend time building a foundation of love, support, and worship, I can't help but believe that any obstacle that comes our way won't stand a chance if we continue to rely on God and one another.
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