On Being Kingdom-Minded

IMG_8259.jpg Written by Lillian K.

This past weekend marks a pivotal point in our church here at UT Austin. After nearly 5 years since we began in 2008, as a church we learned an important lesson on being kingdom-minded. Monday was the day of the send off of our beloved and founding pastoral couple: Pastor Manny and Sunny, and their daughters Corrie and Naomi. This week, they are driving back to California where they will be getting ready to start a new church on the UCLA campus.

As someone who was part of the beginning of our church in Austin, it's been quite a journey to see how our community here has grown from the first team of 15 to move from our church in Berkeley, to now almost 200 people eager to learn about God on any given Friday or Sunday. The impact and legacy they have left behind was evident when each of the classes of Koinonia gave a presentation as an expression of thanks for how they have received their love and care. Many cherished memories come to mind as many of us recounted how Pastor Manny and Sunny had personally ministered to us, how they helped us grow up in our salvation and become more Christ-like.

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It was surreal when Monday 1pm rolled around and we gathered together around the South Mall Lawn to say our last goodbyes and sing our traditional hymn, "The Lord Bless You and Keep You". There were many tearful eyes that day, and as much as it is a sacrifice on our parts to send them off, we commit to continuing on this pattern of sacrifice for the sake of God's kingdom being furthered so that there can be that "Acts 2 church in every college town." We are thankful for the sacrifice that Pastor Jonathan, Susanna and their family gave in moving out here from Berkeley to lead our church, and the many other people who will be moving to help start the church in UCLA. And in the meantime, we look forward to seeing everyone again at the Summer Rally and hearing more about the new church starting up at UCLA! Please take care of them over there and we look forward to meeting the first people who will walk through the doors of their first TFN on the UCLA campus! And on behalf of all the Longhorns here at Koinonia: Go Bruins!!

IMG_7327.jpg Pastor Manny's last Sunday message

IMG_7401.jpg The farewell at UTC started off with a the mother of all potlucks of over 60 dishes and desserts!

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IMG_7623.jpg The freshmen (class of 2016) put on an applause-rendering song and dance depicting Pastor Manny & Sunny going to UCLA!

IMG_7658.jpg Some of the sophomores arranged a piece from one of Pastor Manny's favorite movies "The Mission" called Gabriel's Oboe

IMG_7761.jpg The juniors did a enthusiastic song and dance medley about how they were discipled and challenged to serve in ministries such as Interhigh

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IMG_7862.jpg iMannyif, Sunny edition!

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IMG_7928.jpg The seniors put on a remixed version of their previous G-Live skit, imagining what it would be like to reunite with Pastor Manny and Sunny 20 years later

IMG_7996.jpg Class of 2012 & above, many of whom had been the first students to walk through the doors of Koinonia at Austin, recounted in song how they were impacted by Pastor Manny & Sunny

IMG_8037.jpg IMG_8047.jpg IMG_8086.jpg Many gifts were given to capture all the expression of love and thanks by each of the classes

IMG_8188.jpg The freshmen guys commemorated their final basketball game by signing a pair of Air Jordans

IMG_8208.jpg We gathered around the Kim family to sing "The Lord Bless You and Keep You"

IMG_8213.jpg IMG_8215.jpg IMG_8212.jpg IMG_8218.jpg Saying our last goodbyes...

IMG_8241.jpg Tunnel time!!

IMG_8266.jpg The Kim family drive off in their beige minivan as they begin their road trip over to California!

WE WILL MISS YOU AND WILL BE PRAYING FOR YOU AND THE UCLA CHURCH PLANT!!