I've attended Shoreline Christian Center in Austin, Texas since I was in college at what is now Texas State back in the early 90s. When I moved to Austin in 1997 I never church shopped, but simply made Shoreline my church home.
One of the first few Sundays I was there I approached Pastor Laura Koke and told her that I was new to Austin, new to the church and ready to serve where she needed me. A week or so later I got a call asking if I could babysit her three kiddos. Of course. Seemed an easy enough request.
Over the next decade I was called on whenever they needed me. Pastor Rob and Laura's kiddos grew up during that time and I found my self moving away from Austin a couple of times, but every time I moved back I was ready at their becon call. They became an extension of my family. Their kids - my kids, even if it was for a few hours as their parents made the most of a well deserved date night.
I've posted about the loss that the Koke's experienced earlier this summer when their 17-year old son, Caleb, passed away in a car wreck. It's still a bit unreal to me as I'm sure it is to them as well.
Last week our church family welcomed Pastor Rob and Laura back. It was an amazing service and I only attended one of three of them. At our service at the north campus just about every seat was filled. The sanctuary seats 5,000 and that obviously doesn't count all the children and babies. Cars were parked way beyond the parking lot - sometimes four deep in the grass.
We love them and I wanted to share a bit of the service here: