Part 4: Blending Day 2 – Sightseeing in downtown Chicago

We had a full day out in Chicago today! As we are staying at the homes of believers all over the city and around the area, we used different modes of transport to get around: CTA trains and buses, metro, divvy bikes, water taxi, and our two legs!


The Cloud Gate (more commonly known as The Bean) at Millennium Park was our meeting place in the morning to gather over 70 UK saints from the UK travelling to Chicago before the NACT.


From there we scattered in groups to visit many tourist attractions. Some bought the Go Chicago Explorer Pass, which included entrance into 3-5 sites whilst others opted to wander around the city and see the Navy Pier, listen to a live orchestra at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion and go up the Skydeck. There is a lot to see and do in Chicago!

We made sure that some of our sightseeing including trying the Chicago food. We were recommended by the local saints to go to Giordano’s Pizza to try the famous deep dish pizza. We were not disappointed!

During the day, we held our third photo competition. This time the prize was a froyo or boba (bubble tea)! Head over to the Chicago Photography Competition post to see all the entries and their captions. The winners have been announced here!

Japanese Garden Photography Competition Results

As the Japanese Garden Photography Competition did not have a prize associated with it, we asked a brother to decide the winners. He is a professional photographer and had a few comments for the photos. Here they are:
Starting with honourable mentions: The balancing one legged zen photo is an interesting one. It really captures the mediator in action, or lack of action :p.. maybe next time try the hovering in mid air while appearing to balance on one leg at the same time haha!
Third place… The letter box shot. Whoever took a letter box to the beautiful park and then jumped inside to take a photo, well that’s commitment to your photography. Nicely framed with the seriously blacked out vignette.
Second place goes to the fishing bird in the stream. Capturing the bird mid hunt while framing the shot with depth of field is impressive.
First place…. Drum roll…….
Goes to the silhouette of the fellowship! This one gets first place… Really to just encourage the students to fellowship! 🙂 But it is a good photo too.. the contrast of colour and lighting brings attention to the silhouette, which in itself is quite interesting. We have the straight lines of the man made building which is organisation vs the God created outline of man fellow-shipping which is very organic!
Congrats to Travis (first place), Lam (second place), Sarah (third place), and Leia (honourable mention), and thank you to all our other entrants!

Part 3: Blending Day 4 – UCLA Tour!

The day commenced with tours of the UCLA campus by current and former students. Chris is a current 4th year English Literature and Film student, Melody studied and later served and now works on campus, Bart was a student at UCLA for ten years and studied at the institution for A DECADE. In addition, we were joined by Jodie who works on the campus and Cam who is also a current student.

The UCLA campus is so wonderful !! Here are the saints pictured on the University’s famous Janns steps, and also pictured with our tour guides Bart and his daughter Joy. Oh the saints are so beautiful, hallelujah for blending blending blending !!

The UK saints gazing at Royce Hall modelled after Milan’s Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio by architect David Allison. It was created with 52 imperfections… showing that only God is perfect ! Can you spot them all?

It was great to see one of the many manifestations of the University of California’s campus works. Our tour guide Bart shared with us that he had received the Lord by meeting the saints at the UCLA campus whilst being a student there. Praise the Lord for the His move on the campuses !

After our wonderful campus tour (thank you saints!), we had lunch in Westwood Village.

To avoid being stuck in traffic later in the day, we went to the Japanese Gardens in Van Nuys. The gardens were very pretty, and we had another photo competition – we’ll start the voting for that one when the voting for the San Diego Zoo pictures finishes.

We loved the blending in the evening hosted by Hall 2 of the church in Los Angeles. Praise the Lord, Philadelphia !

The love feasts with the saints have been truly wonderful. One of the brothers smoked the beef for twelve hours. It was delicious !

We enjoyed eating, singing and sharing with all the saints ! The LA saints had also organised a special fellowship in which the older saints shared some of the riches they had accumulated in their experiences of Christ with the younger ones. What a precious time this was of being blended together into one accord with all the saints.

One brother shared that often young people desire to be matured overnight, but it takes time. He said that he has been in the church life for 45 years, and the Lord is still growing in him !

Lord Jesus, grow and mature in us !