A Journey…I feel the words that best sum up the past month and a half, are “bible” and “backpack”. For the past month and a half, I’ve covered Spain from north to south, and east to west (literally). I’ve been to planning meetings for Misión Posible, encouraging fellow youth leaders, walking the Camino de Santiago (What’s that?), visiting possible future ministry locations, planning our end of year party at the language academy, working individually with my students helping them prepare for their English exam and turning in my final grades for all 147 of my students. And now we are two days into (the first ever) Vacation Bible School in Úbeda!
Amidst all of the going and doing, so many things change. My mode of travel, destination, even my roles tend to change (sometimes I’m a teacher, encourager, leader, friend, guest, etc.) but what doesn’t change is my identity in Christ. This is a huge encouragement to come back to amidst all of the other things. This is a little piece from Colossians chapter 2 that I’ve been reading and praying through recently.
“…In Him you have been made complete; and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us…”
Last days of school…The ending of the school year at the language academy was good but challenging. In all honesty, along the way, there were some hard moments with the director, my boss. At a few points, there were some requests to which I had to say a respectful but firm, “No”. These happenings were extremely difficult but it provided a way for me to share why I believe in truth and absolutes. In one particularly difficult situation, the Lord orchestrated the perfect timing for me to read Psalm 16 that day
“I will bless the Lord who has counseled me; You will make known to me the path of life; In your presence is fullness of joy; In your right hand there are pleasures forever.”
Where it all began, El Camino de Santiago…Literally, it’s called the “Way of James”. El camino, in Spanish, means “the way”, in English. Five years ago, I came to Spain on a summer mission trip to work in an albergue (hostel) for the pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago. This was my first time to serve outside the US and the Lord opened my eyes to His heart for the nations; that all people would hear of His grace, mercy, and justice, and believe in Him. I was deeply impacted by the people I met and spoke with who didn’t have a personal relationship with the Lord. Five years later, almost to the day, I found myself back on the Camino; however, this time, not just serving the pilgrims, but being one of them, walking alongside them, hearing their stories, and sharing mine.
Myself and four others completed the Camino last Friday. We walked about 25KM (15 1/2 miles) a day through the Galician countryside. I organized and planned the trip for the five of us and breathed a huge sigh of relief when all of us stepped off the train in Linares-Baeza (local train station), safely back in Andalucía. Our experience gives testimony of El Shaddai – the God who provides for His people. Major blisters, one emergency room visit (one of the girls slipped and fell, but is doing much better), one subway strike in Madrid, two planes, two trains, many kilometers behind us, and many new friends, we completed the journey for He has been our help and refuge. For pictures from the Camino de Santiago, click here.
I’m We’re excited to see you…I’m wrapping up this year of service and looking forward to what lies ahead. Especially, seeing you! I leave Spain, Sunday, August 1st and arrive in Dallas the same day. The month of August I will be in Texas serving alongside Luisa (one of the youth from our church in Úbeda) in Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin.*
Similar to last year, I would love to see you in person and thank you for your support and prayers over these past months. You are cordially invited to a Spanish merienda in Denton, Texas, on Saturday, August 7th (e-mail invite to follow). Please come have a bite to eat, and hear of His faithfulness and provision over the last year.
I will need your continued support to serve in Spain. But for now, I would just like the opportunity to see you, say thank you, and share firsthand what you’ve helped make possible.
Representing you in the Spanish church,
*Luisa is raising support to come on a three week mission trip that we’ve been planning over the last few months. She arrives on Wednesday the 4th of August, and leaves Wednesday the 25th. If you would be interested in supporting her, please let me know.