June 16, 2019
No flying today, but lots of visiting which was the real reason for the trip (even if the flying has been great).
We pulled unto the church parking lot in the morning to see one of Austin’s friends that also served in the Virginia Chesapeake Mission who also just happened to also be visiting Smithfield today.
There were more reunions.
After church we made our first stop for the afternoon to visit and have lunch with some of the church members. We had a great visit and meal with them. She even taught us how to make pupusa’s. Everything was delicious.
Later it was off to visit a lady that Austin baptized and have dinner with her family.
The remainder of the evening was spent visiting more members. He had set up an appointment to visit a family in a small apartment complex but they weren’t there, so he said “Let’s see if so-and-so still lives up there” pointing to an apartment on the other side of the parking lot. He knocked, they opened the door and welcomed us in with open arms. By the time we were done with that visit the first family was home and we got to spend some time with them.
As we were leaving Austin told us we were near a trailer park where he had taught some people a little over two years ago when he was there. We found ourselves driving towards a trailer park after 9pm with the directions of “I think I’ll recognize it when I see it” and then “I think that’s it right there.”
I asked if he really wanted to go knock on a door that late, not knowing who lived there, and told him we would wait in the car. I wasn’t sure what people would think if all of us showed up at their front door at 9:30pm. Off he went up the stairs to the porch and front door. We watched from the car as he knocked and waited, then got a huge grin on his face and waved to us to come join him. Again we were invited in with open arms and listened, only picking up a word here and there in the high speed Spanish conversation as they caught up on the past couple of years.
It was a very humbling day, as these wonderful people welcomed us into their homes, some in the most humble of circumstances. There was no mistaking the love that they have for Austin because of the service that he gave to them.