a change of plans

Wow! I barely know where to begin…A lot has happened in this past week, and I’d love to fill you in!

Last Tuesday: I received an e-mail from CAM saying that my support might be low and that we should talk soon. They were going to get more information and get back in touch with me. I was kind of discouraged thinking, “I just arrived! How can that be?” Some of the first things I thought of were all the commitments I’m making with ministry, and “living” things (apartment, etc.).. I had a good conversation with my friend Natalie (via skype) and was reminded that all things are in His control. By the time I went to bed on Tuesday, I was thinking, Lord, you brought me here and you can place me wherever you like. Once again, learning to live, the whole, “My life is not my own” mantra. “My heart is here, but I trust You.”

Last Wednesday: The director/owner of a nearby language academy (300 students) called the church in Úbeda asking if there might be anyone working with the church who spoke English as a first language. She, Manoli, was looking for a native English speaking missionary who had experience with children but is also able to work with adults. Here’s why she called our church: a previous missionary here worked in the school, and the director likes the faithfulness and dependability that she has seen from Christians.

It gets better. She doesn’t want me to teach, she told me she has someone for that. She wants to hire me to come to her school and have conversations. Therefore I prepare nothing, show up, and talk about life with the students to practice their English. I would work M-F, from 4pm-7pm. 15 hours a week. And if I drive, they will pay for gas. CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS?! And she wants to pay me! That means, I no longer have a support deficit.

I don’t understand the faithfulness of God in spite of my wretchedness. But it still gets better…As it happens, the town she wants me to help with is the next town on our list of towns we would like to place a missionary, about 20 miles east of Ubeda in Villacarrillo.

God is faithful to fulfill His plan in the world and I’m thankful that I can’t mess things up, just glad that I get to be a part, and represent you (Thank you partners!) while doing it. Please be praying there are some details about transportation that haven’t been solved yet…As it is 20 miles outside of Úbeda we’re trying to figure out how I will come and go.

The church and my leadership all think that this is a good idea and have weighed the pros/cons in looking out for my best interest. I will be able to maintain all my other responsibilities with the church in Ubeda, and use this additional opportunity to expand the church’s impact/field. From my point of view, this is an incredible opportunity to build relationships with Spaniards for the Gospel.

Recap:

  • It looks like I might begin working in a nearby language academy in the town of Villacarrillo.
  • This town is also one of the places that our church has been looking to place missionaries/begin a church plant.
  • The director/owner is willing to do whatever it takes to get me more permission to work. As of now, I can work, but there might be stipulations.
  • We are still trying to figure out how I will get to/from Úbeda –> Villacarrillo. (Bus, moto, car, ride with someone I work with?)

I got in from an English camp in Madrid last night, got some sleep, and this morning went to the Social Security Helathcare office to obtain an ID number, and will be going to visit the school again this afternoon. Please be praising God for what He is doing in this area and please be praying for a way to go to/from Villacarrillo.

Serving with you,

Arista

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