#CoCinNorCal, Day 3
Updated: Mar 24, 2022
Today, we spent most of our time in the central valley of California. We started our day off gathering at the meeting hall in Salinas to sing a little and have a short spiritual reading followed by some smaller group fellowship. Oh! I also want to mention that we had some special guests! Bess D. and her son joined us for today’s activities. It was super fun to have them join us on this trip. After they joined us at Salinas, we all left together to go on a hike. After the hike, we returned to Salinas to meet other Christians and have dinner together. After the dinner, we all got together to sing some songs. I especially enjoyed singing “Wherever You Go I Will Go”. This was a song that was sung during a past college conference, and I just really appreciate the story behind this song. It’s essentially a story about how, in the Old Testament, Ruth, a Gentile woman, chooses to follow Naomi, her mother-in-law, back to Jerusalem. This is especially impressive because Ruth most likely would have had a better future staying behind rather than going back to Jerusalem, but Ruth, in her love for Naomi, wanted to follow her mother-in-law and join her people, taking Naomi’s God as her God and Naomi’s people as her people.
Today, we went for a hike in Pinnacles State Park. We went through a dark underground cave and Kevin got so scared that his wife Alice had to give him a bit of a pep-talk to keep him moving along. Before that we met up at the Church in Salinas to have some chips and “sammys” for lunch. That is the church our beloved brother Abiel hails from. My lunchtime sandwich was real delicious, especially since I threw a bit of spicy mustard on that baby which gave it a bit of a kick. However, that's not all since we were in for a real treat at dinnertime when the kind folks over at the Church in Salinas served us up a scrumptious Mexican pozole soup, hot and spicy just the way I like it. Earlier in the morning, me and my travel companions Larry and Calvin bid farewell to our kind and generous host, brother Isaac, and handed him a thank you gift before hitting the road for Salinas. That same evening, I bid farewell to my friend Joseph K. and my housemates Calvin and Larry since they were only joining us for the 3-day trip. I was sad to see them go, but we'd had a wonderful few days together with plenty of great memories to show for it. Otherwise, I cracked a few good jokes throughout the day that made me and my friends laugh real good. It was a wonderful day.
Today CoC visited Salinas. Though the drive there may have been arduous for some, we were greatly nourished by our respective host families in the South Bay (both physically and spiritually). They greatly cherished me, giving me a fresh appreciation for the care in the Body of Christ... It was a little sad saying goodbye :'(. However, upon arriving in Salinas, we were promptly and warmly greeted by the smiling faces of the saints there. What a delight!
The main outing for Wednesday was going to Pinnacles National Park. Upon arrival we were all met with the sweltering sun beaming down on our already sunburnt necks...certainly not pleasant. However, in spite of this we were all watered by the fellowship between the brothers and sisters on the hike together. At the midpoint of the hike, we reached the caves! I appreciated the shade that it provided and the gentle breeze that flowed through the crevices. The quietness and mysteriousness of the caves reminded me of a booklet that I read called "A God Who Hides Himself." In this book, God's character is revealed as secretive and lovingly encouraging. While He desires to reveal His multifarious aspects to us, upon our realization of one aspect, He is quick not to remain there. Rather, He hides Himself once again, beckoning us to seek Him and ultimately ushering us into another stage in our experience with God. Salinas has been a great testament of our seeking and finding. I am excited to see more!