{A little late} October Update

“Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on Earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever…But as for me, the nearness of God is my good. I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all Your works.” Psalm 73:25-26 & 28

¡Saludos! To begin with, sorry for the delayed update! I think about you, your family, your needs, and am praying for you always! I am able to serve here because of my senders, and it means the world to me that you’re on my team.

Since my very first day here, I knew that I needed to remember the story of the Gospel on a daily basis. The sacrifice that Christ made for me, the life that I now live, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the hope of eternity with Him, these are the things that I want to communicate in my words, thoughts, and actions. I feel like I fail more than I succeed in this, but that’s the amazing thing about grace, right?

In general, we live in community. And in community, we have the opportunity to edify one another and come alongside each other in our different strengths and weaknesses. I love that. I love that my weaknesses are countered by someone else’s strengths. We also have the opportunity to let go of selfish ways and adopt a self-less attitude. In other words, being living examples of Him becoming greater and us becoming less (John 3:30). One of my favorite quotes comes from a family I’m close with, “I am third.” I like the meaning that that conveys.

Student life…There is such a richness of diversity here. Just like you and me, all the people here have their own story and their own testimony of how the Lord is working in their lives. Often times, I stand back, looking at all the languages, countries, cultures, and two things take my breath away.

  1. The sweet sovereignty of the Lord and His specific plan for us all to live in community, and learn of Him–us, here, now, together.
  2. I am constantly aware of what a small/big part I play in all this.

A small part…I am just one tiny thread in an intricate story of the seminary, its presence in Spain, and the influences it makes with it’s students going out to serve in churches here in Spain, and throughout Europe. I am so small! Our God is so big and to hear about churches, pastors, ministries, etc. from Norway to North Africa, is such a blessing. It feels like a little piece of heaven.

A big part...I don’t mean to sound arrogant, but it seems like I do play an important part in the feeling, and general flow of student life. I’m an administrator, leader, friend, shoulder to cry on, or someone to cry with is more like it, prayer warrior, mom, maid, sister, etc. In many ways, I’m the person that connects the practical with the academic side of life, and vice-versa. One of my greatest delights is talking with the students. Seeing how they are, making sure they are physically/emotionally well and struggling well. Sometimes it’s hard to keep a good balance between studying/life/work/relationships.

Outside view of IBSTE...

in the reception area...

Rachel & Ruth in the CBSIE office

On Thursdays, we all play soccer together...

A few numbers, just for fun!

  • 5, the number of languages I hear on an hourly basis (German, English, Catalan, Chinese, Spanish). I’m learning basic German.
  • 42, the average number of people that eat lunch and dinner here (per day) at the seminary.
  • 9, the number of times I’ve stalled driving a manual (as in not automatic) car. Actually, it’s probably more than that.
  • 14 residents under my care and supervision. (11 IBSTE students + 3 German volunteers)
  • 24 the total number of countries that are represented in the student body of IBSTE (Spanish seminary) and CBSIE (Chinese seminary).

Living…I have my own little house on the seminary grounds and its pretty perfect for me. It has two bedrooms, one is mine and the other is used as a guest-room for friends, or girls who want to come spend the night from the main building. There is also a small kitchen with a sitting area. Just like in any living situation, there are ups/downs to living alone. The good thing is that it’s a place where I can rest and I can make it my own and use to welcome others in. I enjoy it most when friends come over to eat, talk, or watch movies.

Life outside these walls…I’ve been looking for a church and I think I’ve found one. It’s called the Evangelical Church of Castelldefels (La Iglesia Evangelica de Castelldefels). If you would like to see the church website, click here. I have also made a new close Spanish friend, Sarai. She’s about my age, goes to the church in Castelldefels, and is also helping plan Misión Posible.

Praises & Petitions:

  • Please pray just as the psalmist wrote, “…that the nearness of God, would be my good” (Psalm 73:28).
  • Praise Him for our new leadership team (administrators, teachers, volunteers).
  • Praise Him for the ease of settling into life here and for His clear confirmation that this is where He has led me. It’s a joy to be in the center of His will!

Thank you for your continued support, sacrifices, and prayers! I would love to hear about you and how I can be praying for you!

Representing you in the Spanish church,

Arista

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