Wasn't speaking anywhere today, so I decided to go to an African American church in San Antonio on my Walk for Water with Hope. Ended up choosing New Light Baptist for a very unspiritual reason. I'm a night owl and they had an 11:00 service which meant I wouldn't have to get up early.
The church is in an old run down area of San Antonio and as I was driving through it I began to wonder if it was such a good idea for me to be alone in that part of town. However, stuff like that really doesn't scare me (Hippo's scare me) so I kept going. However, I got there after the service started and when I pulled up no one was outside except for two "sketchy" looking guys hanging out on the corner.
For a split second I thought about staying in the car and going back to my host family's house. However as usually is the case with me, I threw caution to the wind, (after all the closest hippo's were 10,000 miles away) got out, and went inside. So glad I did. They were celebrating the 148th anniversary of their church and what a celebration it was.
My favorite part was when their small choir belted out an old, familiar, spiritual...it felt like heaven. I love their harmonies, rhythm, and most of all I love the freedom and passion they have as they proclaim the name of Jesus.
As is the custom in most African American churches they ask visitors to stand, say their name, and a little bit about themselves. When I stood and told them I was a Kenyan missionary they went "crazy."
They asked me to share about my work and what I was doing in their "neck of the woods." When I told them I was walking in 15 cities across the country, including San Antonio, to raise funds for water for my people in Kenya they went "crazy" again...only this time on steroids.
The pastor asked what they could do for me. I asked them to pray, consider giving, and another thing I'm sure they were not expecting at all but if you know me you won't be surprised..I asked if I could sing in their choir for the rest of the service. Needless to say it blessed my socks off.
After the service was over I told some of them who were waiting to talk with me that I would love for them to join me on Giving Tuesday to walk the River-walk at 5:30 a.m. A funny little lady by the name of Florence pictured here piped up and said "Girl I'd do it but that's way too early...the cock ain't even crowed by then. I told her it was too early for me too but that I was doing it then for people who worked....to which Florence quickly responded "Child, I don't work but I still ain't getting up that early to walk...even for the Lord!"