Now we see but a dim reflection as in a mirror;
then we shall see face to face.
Now I know in part;
then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

— 1 Corinthians 13:12

We rise before the sun on Saturday for our last gig: sunrise singing at the Hallelujah Soup Kitchen. The kitchen serves breakfast every morning was run an Ethiopian man in a blue winter hat called Moges (‘mogəs). He’s a pastor with a big smile and a bright attitude; he graciously welcomes us in to the wooden frame of the dining area of his soup kitchen. One by one, the served come in. Some drag their limbs, faces devoid of emotion; others jazz in with bright smiles and dancing demeanors. Before he serves food, Moges says a few words about Jesus’s resurrection, his appearance to Mary Magdalene, and how we can follow God’s commandments to love Him and love others.

A young family was there helping Moges cook today: Kim, Miriam, and their two boys Peter and Andrew. For the past year they have consistently come every few weeks – not as part of any church or organization, but on their own. It’s a small but dedicated sacrifice of time and love on their part. I wonder what the shape of this “calling” looks like for them – do they have a personal connection to the financially insecure? Have they experience financial hardship for themselves? Or perhaps neither. I suppose God calls people in miraculous ways.

We share a last supper of pizza, and then pack up and clean up. We take photos with the subsets of xprods we stayed with this week. Those who stayed at the Salhoff’s call themselves the Mememobile, and we who stayed at the Bond’s call ourselves the Quack Pack. Oh, aren’t we adorable.



The flight back is short. A friend invited me once to look outside, because the world is beautiful. Since then, I have on every flight. The world very much is beautiful.
We fly out of Raleigh-Durham International, and below us shrinks the airfield – intersecting rectangles of gray and white cut into a landscape of dull green. Downtown Raleigh glimmers, murky and vague, in the distance. Houses cling to streets like buds on a tendril, looping and curling into each other. Once thick wilderness, open fields now lie exposed upon the Earth, carved out by man for his own purpose. Ocean waves, from our vantage point far above, are frozen upon the sea as if painted on. We fly over New York City – it’s stunning from the sky. Central park glows in the hazy glare of the afternoon sun – a gray rectangle against a frame of rising buildings.

road. airfield. estuary. new york city. street.

After we return, Craig hosts a subset of xprods for a movie night in his room. He’s got a pretty awesome projector that projects onto the wall of his room, and a comfy couch that competes with luxury movie theater seating. I’m exhausted, but this movie – The Lego Batman Movie – is the stupidest and most entertaining object ever. It’s mirth gold. Allusions and quality meme content pop at us from start to finish; Voldemort, Sauron, the Daleks, all the villains and even a velociraptor; Batman, who also happens to be Michael Jackson and Gandhi. The movie night sends us off spring break in high spirits; it’s evidence that seals our xprod-ness.

This spring break was a huge answered prayer. I feel closer to God and to my fellow xprods than I did at the start of the week, and I don’t think I’m alone in saying this. God is faithful. Of course, the ultimate goal isn’t to just be friends with one another but to be united in serving the Lord. I think we’ve improved at that as well, but unity is something that we must continually pray for and work toward.

~ Barry

Easter day, the Lord rises! Back in North Carolina, Barry, John, and Dongho stay for Easter service at TMBC. They share an Easter supper made by the Bond family, and watch the musical Jesus Christ Superstar together.

In Cambridge, Helen and I go to Cambridge Community Fellowship Church (CCFC), my home church, for Easter service. As we walk in, vases of freshly cut hyacinths and tulips greet us; paper garlands in shades of green and purple and pink frame the stage. The sanctuary is jam-packed and full of joy, because, Easter. Why does Easter get such special attendance compared to other Sundays? I’ve personally never felt any less reason to attend church on other Sundays than on Easter – after all, the purpose for attending church at all is to remember Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. But on the other hand, I suppose the reason we celebrate a special Easter day is the same reason we attend church all the other times. It is a day set apart. Its set-apartness makes it holy. That’s what “holy” means, I guess – and that’s why we call it a “holiday.”

In his sermon, Pastor Larry invites us to join the revolution Jesus began when he burst forth from the grave. Jesus calls us out from behind our barriers – whether they be failure, fear, or sorrow. He calls us by name. He calls us to witness the suffering, to experience the cross for ourselves. He calls us to stand our ground in this world, to not hide our faces from the wretchedness. He calls us to bear his torch. The Lord is planting a new garden on this Earth, and he invites us to cultivate it – with him.

The sermon felt especially relevant after spring break — the idea of being in the world but not of it. In the end, we’re just trying especially hard for a week to spread God’s love into the world.

~ Helen

It’s a delayed-gratification-kind-of-thing. We have picked up our trowel, plucked some weeds, planted some seeds. The fruit tree is green and the flowers are full, but the fruit is yet to come. We’ve witnessed a sliver.

This from something I said while praying (Thank you, Lord. It was you, not I!).
It is the Lord who writes the story of our lives, and if the chapter we shared with the people we met are but a page or 10,000, if it is written by the Lord’s hand, it is eternal, and will advance His truth. All chapters God writes, whether long or short, are important, and do not stand alone. They are surrounded by 10,000 others that stand together to testify to the Lord’s great name. So nothing of what we did this past week will stand alone. It is a part of a greater work that touches each of those lives we met a thousand times every day.

~ Matthew

But there’s so much more goodness to come.

I know that my redeemer lives,
and that in the end he will stand on the earth.
And after my skin has been destroyed,
yet in my flesh I will see God;
I myself will see him
with my own eyes—I, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!

— Job 19:25-27

The greater gift awaits us: the treasure of seeing Him face-to-face, and along with it all the fruit of the Eternity Garden. But as we await our then-home – we must till the earth, we must build our now-home. Build houses, plant gardens, seek the peace of MIT, of Cambridge – and call it our home.


Now we see but a dim reflection as in a mirror;
then we shall see face to face.
Now I know in part;
then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.