Our First Annual Festival of Nations
Celebrating The Nations In Our Neighborhood
Our first annual Festival of Nations was a complete success. The fellowship was genuine and the cuisine was exquisite.
Congratulations to Our “Best In The World” Winners:
1st Place: Jim and Angie Cunningham - Panang Curry (Thailand)
2nd Place: Peter Robles - Chiles Rellenos (Mexico)
3rd Place: Christopher Erkelens - Chojín (Guatemala)
Beyond the food, we celebrated the significance of our unity in Christ in the midst of our diversity in culture. Read on for a testimony from our own Krista Alvarez:
I grew up in a very non-diverse household and community. I had brief experiences with different cultures through mission trips or service projects. After I married Mike though, I got an introduction to and was now living with someone whose heritage and cultural experience was vastly different from mine. There has been a lot of growth, forgiveness, and time spent learning about each other & our cultural backgrounds these past 5 years!
About 2.5 years ago, Mike really felt a desire to want to explore his Mexican heritage more and at first I just figured, “well I am here along for the ride-but this isn’t going to affect me much. Why do I need to understand the Mexican culture? I’m not Mexican so it doesn’t affect me.” However, in this time, the Lord has really used this desire of Mike’s to grow and stretch us both. Mike and I began to have in-depth discussions about culture, race, identity, how it affects us both and how it will affect our kids. I began to learn about and understand a cultural perspective different than mine - not only that, but I learned to be an advocate and pray for this culture.
In those 2.5 years, we also joined the Santa Ana church plant! After the very first prayer night for Santa Ana, the Lord put a stirring in Mike’s heart to want to be a part of this. For Mike, it was an opportunity to be a part of and serve a culture that he wanted to reconnect with. For me, it seemed like a daunting task - I felt unequipped and unsure. However, I knew that no matter how I felt, I wanted to be open and receptive to where the Lord was calling us. And I am so happy he called us here.
Before I met Mike, the idea of joining a church plant, in a primarily hispanic community would have been something that I thought was great - but not for me. I feared being too white, not understanding the language, and honestly just being in a city that was so different from what I grew up in. But I love our church and our community. I love that our church is such a beautiful depiction of the gospel. People of every tribe, nation, and tongue, coming together to worship the Lord. I’m so thankful to be here and be a part of you all as we seek to spread the joy of Jesus in DTSA and beyond.