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Austin Texas Report


   "What's this all about?"........ "Where are you from?" the curious asked as soon as we parked and opened the doors on Guadalupe Street..... The Merrymakers and the two Peacemaker buses had arrived in the inviting city of Austin, Texas on Wednesday, April 19th!

Arriving early we parked across from the University of Texas campus. This University is huge and we had numerous conversations with students and faculty from many different cultures and nationalities.

We were impressed with the friendliness of the city police (who had a tour of both buses) and especially the security guards on the University of Texas. Other musicians said they had tried to play on the campus (in the walkways or parks) but had been asked to "move on" by the security guards. The campus police nonchalantly watched us dance and hand out papers. We were thankful for the freedom to play music, dance and express the hope we have.


A sample of people we met:

              *Transient street kids living in shelters ....some searching for "truth". We met one young man whose father is a Southern Baptist pastor. Like many children from religious homes, he had rebelled and set off to find his own beliefs (the search usually involving drugs, alcohol and immorality). He said he didn't know what was true, but rather Christianity seemed like a "huge cloud" to him and he was intrigued with the hope of a people actually living and loving like the first church.

              *Two people who had come on the original Peacemaker (I) a year ago at the Widespread Panic Concert in Austin.... One man was thankful to see us again and admitted he had "done nothing with his life" since last seeing us. He knew it was no coincidence to find the bus again.

*A group of four missionaries playing guitar and singing in a small park.... They were Germans sent by their organization to minister or "witness" to the homeless in America. Our German brothers enjoyed meeting them and were thankful they could honestly say "We know the way - we'll bring you home" for those seeking something more than the physical sustenance of life.

There were, of course, many other conversations since we were approximately sixty people. After an encouraging day it was time to move on. We said farewell to Austin at the end of the day to begin the rest of the journey to California. Hopefully we will be back some day.

Merrymakers\' Caravan

For more information contact info@merrymakerscaravan.org