Why West, Texas is felt in the North, South and East Texas, too

On the east side of IH-35, about 10 miles north of Waco, sits a small community known as West, Texas.  Before this week, not many outside of Texas were familiar with the place.  Now, because of a devastating industrial explosion, West is a household name.

Texans know West because of a few places and events:

  1. The Czech Stop.  Known for its kolaches, sausages, fresh bread, sandwiches and clean bathrooms.  So familiar to travelers on IH-35 south, that many wait in lines that snake out the door, with gladness (and drooling mouths).
  2. Westfest.  Held every Labor Day, over a two day period, this festival celebrates all that is Czech.  From Oompah and polka bands, to foaming beer, to sausage on a stick….Westfest is the perfect example of small town celebration, and they do it with old town, European style.
  3. 2,600 of the friendliest Texans you will ever meet.  The community of West is one of our state treasures, and we pride ourselves in hospitality in this state!
It’s because we all know about West, and visit one of the bakeries when there is a chance, that the whole State of Texas is hurting from the explosion this week.  Our neighbors are hurting, and need our help.  We pray, we send supplies, we give blood.  But most of all, we anguish with them, because we have been pulled into their community over the years.  
 
Regardless of where we are from in Texas – South Texas, East Texas, North Texas – we are drawn this week to West.  And we pray for their recovery from this devastating tragedy.  I’m reminded of a hymn I’ve heard that says something similar:
 
In Christ there is no East or West
In Him no South or North
But one great fellowship of love
Throughout the whole wide earth.
 
God Bless the folks in West, Texas; because they have been such a blessing to us over the years.  Amen.

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