House, Friendship and Ministry

•August 29, 2007 • 1 Comment

One of the top priorities over the last two and a half weeks has been to get our house set up, build relationships and get to see what is going on. We have done all three.

Getting our house set up is not an event, but a process. Especially in such a large city as Madrid. Many of the stores that we have to go to are across the metro area. We have had a vehicle loaned to us and that has helped.

Our missionary team here is fantastic! We have had dinner with most of them, gone on an afternoon get-away to a reservoir for a picnic lunch and other times they have helped us in so many ways. We also have gone to Spanish churches and have had a great experience.

We have gone twice to Kilometer Zero. This evangelistic ministry in Puerta del Sol (some call it Plaza del Sol) in the heart of Madrid, is an amazing ministry. They preach five or six times a week and lots of people come to Christ. Last night I translated for one of the missionaries and I also shared a testimony on the streets of Puerta del Sol. This is a family deal. Our whole family loves going and participating.

We also got an opportunity to meet immigrants from other parts of the world. Last night we spoke to two Muslim guys who wondering what we were doing. We also spoke to Africans and Latinos, as well as Spaniards. This is a great way to sow seed into people’s lives. Some of the immigrants that we connect with, we will follow up and build relationships with them. This is a vital ingredient to our ministry.

Our First Week in Spain

•August 17, 2007 • Leave a Comment

We hit the ground running!  Our house that we rented came with beds, table and a sofa with two chairs.  That is about it!  So we spent the first days learning where to shop and getting different areas of the house set up. 

When we got here the phone and the internet didn’t work (they were suppose to).  So as good missionaries, we flex.  After two days we got the phone working and the internet worked sporadically.  Finally today they sent a new modem for the computer and we are online.

We didn’t get the memo about Wednesday being a holiday.  We drove the otherside of Madrid on Wednesday and when we got there, everything was closed.  It apparently was a holiday for the Virgin and so everything shut down.  So yesterday we made the trip over again and this time the stores were open. 

We got our offical registration from the government.  We are still waiting for our visa in Washington D.C., but at least we are registered locally.

The kids are loving it in Spain!  We as the parents are too, but the kids are especially making good friends and enjoying the late nights!  The other night we went to a barbecue and we didn’t get home until 1:30AM.  That is still a little early for Spaniards.  Good thing I took a 15 minute nap!

This has been a great week.  The reality of living here is great and everyday we are grateful to the Lord that we are here.

Today we go!

•August 8, 2007 • 1 Comment

After a long process of raising our support team and getting our house sold and packing and saying goodbye, today we leave for Spain.  We are all excited about it and we can’t wait to get there.  We will update you as soon as we can get connected.  Thank you for your prayers.

One week before we go

•August 2, 2007 • Leave a Comment

We are currently in Decatur, IL and we are leaving for Boston.  We have the car packed and in the morning we will say good bye for now to my parents.  One week from today we fly to Madrid.  We are excited! 

We just got word that our house is going to have some furniture there when we get there.  This means that we should be able to spend our first night in Madrid in our new house!

Our house is sold and the closing of a chapter

•July 27, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Selling our house has been a process.  The market in Virginia Beach changed and it became more difficult.  Plus, itinerating and preparing for Spain created a tremendous pressure to get everything done.  Now that part is done!  We closed on our house on Tuesday and then we drove to Illinois to be with my parents.  We now begin a new chapter and we are excited to get to Spain.  After all, that is why we sold our house.

Getting Rid of Stuff

•July 21, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Getting rid of stuff can be exciting and at the same time making us a little sad.  Today we had our major moving sale and we sold most of our stuff.  We had people coming and buying many different items (from furniture to the odds and ends).  A lot of that stuff has a story, but now it is gone to someone else.  At the end of the day, we got rid of stuff that brings pleasure for a season, but now it is gladly passed off to someone else who got a deal.

Having the sale today is really liberating.  Even though there is a weak dollar in Spain, and they don’t have cheap yard sales… and our earnings won’t really be that much… the real deal is that it is not about the stuff, but what the Lord is calling us to do. 

Getting to the field means packing in shifts

•July 18, 2007 • Leave a Comment

How do you down size a house and basically send whatever it is you want in Spain via an airplane?  That is what we are learning.  If it doesn’t fit in a suitcase, it doesn’t go.  Also, the airline only allows only a certain amount (it is getting less and less).  So, what we have had to do is buy Army/Navy bags and use our suitcases and try to put it all in for the first load.  Then when we come back, we will reuse them and take more. 

We packed all our suitcases for Spain and my inlaws graciously met us half way between New York and Virginia.  They will store them at their house until we retrieve them just before we fly out of NYC (they live an hour north of NYC). 

Now we have to sell stuff, put in storage what we aren’t going to sell, and keep back what cloths we will use over the next couple weeks.  This how packing in shifts is the only way for us to get it done.  Our suitcases that I took up to Delaware to meet my inlaws filled the van (the kids couldn’t even have fit).  So we are grateful to be able to do it this way.

What does this have to do with anyone else?  Getting to Spain means partnership with others and doing a little bit along the way.  This all adds up to our being able to go.  We can’t do it alone.  We are grateful to the partnership like my inlaws (also my parents who have done so much for us), to the churches and friends, who have come along side of us in so many ways.  They have really encouraged us and given financially and prayerfully.  They are the ones making it possible.  We can’t do it alone! 

The long hours of driving, the phone calls, mailings, meetings, services, e-mails, all of that has made it possible too.  We couldn’t get it all done in one day or one week or one month.  For our journey to Spain, it is about doing the important things along the way, bit by bit.  Driving up to Delaware and home in one day (500 miles) is part of our getting to the field, but it is not the only component.  Filling in the bigger picture is a series of things that need to be done.  But in all of it, God has been faithful along the way.


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