Coming from California I knew football was big in Texas. However, what I experienced on Saturday for Koinonia's Texas vs. Texas Tech game viewing was simply incredible. The 605 house which was purchased just this year was jam-packed with over 100 people, all donning burnt orange shirts in support of the UT football team. Perhaps part of the shock I experienced from the large turnout is due to the fact that as Pastor Manny often says, "As people from California, we're not used to having a winning football team so people just don't care as much."
Maurice and Brian Ikkanda were manning the 6 foot BBQ grill right in front of the house where the smell of grilled hamburgers and hotdogs permeated everywhere and created a festive environment. I was in the kitchen with Sunny and other staff preparing food for the tailgate BBQ and every time I looked up I saw more and more students streaming into the house. By the time the living room was full there was a buzz and excitement in the air as people mingled and got to know one another. It was hands-down the most happening tailgate party in Austin.
Pastor Manny led two icebreaker games which allowed everyone to get acquainted and then we all moved to the first floor garage where chairs had been setup for the meal. Shortly after that...it was game time. Right before kickoff the students chanted, "Texas! Fight!, Texas! Fight!" and after each big play the room erupted into cheer and people jumped so much that it felt like the house was literally moving. During halftime, the students were entertained by the newly purchased games that were strewn throughout the house - the basketball arcade, foosball table, Darts, and a ping-pong table.
As the victory was in hand with UT pulling out a 34-24 win, many students went away happy and were glad that they had come to our event. The staff were in awe of what we had just experienced and full of gratitude for the perfect provision of the house which was used in the exact way that we had envisioned it to be. I was personally grateful for our church and all the people back home in Berkeley who sacrificed so much to help purchase this house which will be utilized for years to come for our ministry. It's a reminder to me that we're not alone here in Texas because we have people who pray for us and support us in every step that we take. Looking forward to the next 605 tailgate!
Jordan Shipley touchdown: