Today, Sunday July the 29th, was officially the last day that our family worshipped together at the Vine Street Baptist church in Louisville, Kentucky. 7 years ago, when my parents and I immigrated to the US, it was difficult to find a community that we could call a "family". Though small, Vine Street Baptist had the biggest heart to embrace us and was always there for us through thick and thin. We were blessed all these years with their southern hospitality, non-stop hugs, and now that we are moving to Atlanta, GA, tearful good-bye's and an awesome potluck party after today's service. I grew so much in my faith here (even got baptized). Click the link to visit the church website to listen to audio sermons.
The choir members took a group photo on the stage. We had a lot of fun learning new songs and making fun of my dad who was the conductor.
My girl Annaliza. She tried to physically block me from leaving, but her efforts were futile as I was simply a bigger person! But next time I see you, you will be just as tall as me and even more beautiful.
I believe that little children can give you a glimpse of heaven sometimes. Abby is Pastor Ben's daughter. I gave her some of my unused hair accesories, and she was so happy that she showed them off to everyone. I really love her dress today - she gets the "best style award" for sure!
I know what some of y'all's thinkin'. A lot of people that I've met outside of Kentucky - especially in big cities - assume that Southern Baptists are the the thing to avoid - the most extreme, conservative, scary people who are too devout... and perhaps ignorant. My response: I will defend my friends here with life. They are definitely not New-Yorkers, and they might eat out at Cracker Barrel every week, but before all that, they are incredibly loving, friendly, and open - they loved me, a foreigner, even when my English was a wreck, like their own granddaughter! It was a breath of fresh air to see them so bare from outwardly self-adornments, which made me rethink about setting my priorities right. They are true inspirations in that, from what they have, which is not much, they have the joy and freedom to give it all to others. Of course, these amazing things can be yours and mine to experience once and only once we tear down the walls of stereotypes and assumptions. They are very devoted to following the Word and to staying faithful to God, as they believe that He stays faithful to them. So they really love their neighbors as themselves. I will miss this church a lot.