Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Bread and coffee.


4 exams down, one to go. And it is now in the next two days of studying that I must obtain all knowledge of the entire history of Spain (might I remind you..is a bit longer and more detailed than that of the United States) and every aspect of Spain's culture. (Fun fact: In the city, to add parking spaces, people park their cars perpendicularly behind the parked cars and leave them in neutral. Then, if someone's car is blocked, they just pushed it over to get out...not sure if i explained this correctly...but i thought it was interesting.) This is when I would assume that living immersed in a culture would assist in writing an essay on it. You would think I paid attention to what I eat everyday. We will see.

I spent my last Tuesday afternoon in Sevilla with good friends from my university and surrounding programs eating a loaf of bread and drinking coffee (improvised Lord's supper), just hanging out and talking about all God has done. Biggest thing overall, and I think we can all agree, is the reminder of community we have found through knowing Christ and how cool it was to talk to each person while realizing there was some crazy way that we all ended up together this semester. I spent alot of time this semester thinking about what it was like to be "alone" as a believer here, but the reality is, I cannot deny God's faithfulness in at least having a weekly time to sit and talk transparently with other believers.

Before I left, my mom had given me a number of letters written by various people as a means of encouragement throughout my adventure (and thanks so much to all of you who had the opportunity to send one)...yesterday I read one that had Colossians 2:6 noted: "So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness." I have learned alot. Really. Paul reminds us, keep living in the way you know. There is a reason we go through intense periods of growth. Even when I had times of not knowing what to do next this semester, I had friends and family who just kept saying, "Walk in what you know." So we learn. And we build on that. And we keep learning.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


It's Christmas time....

After what has already been a long weekend off of school, today was another day off celebrated as the "Day of Immaculate Conception". After being nestled cozily in our small barrio of Condequinto, I finally ventured into el centro only to realize it was there that the rest of the world was gathered. The streets were filled for hours with people buying flamenco figurines to add to their nativity sets which fill a table from wall to wall in many houses, the smells of incense burning, people eating roasted chesnuts sold by street vendors, and the dripping of your occasional ice cream cone since it is still about 60 degrees here during the day.

Yesterday, we started humming a few Christmas songs and ended up singing every one we could think of while getting a bit tickled when Pepe shamelessly sang "We wished you a very Chrissmas and a happy jew jeer." Gotta love those faulty translations! How in the world do I even begin to explain what "Don we now our gay apparel, troll the ancient yule tide carol" means. (P.S. I had to google that one because I really had no clue how to write it myself.)...much less teach them how to sing those words.

Hehe, goodness. Looking forward to celebrating the yule tides soon with my family and friends!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Oh, how He loves us so.

I have to stop for a minute, as I am really amazed at how God has been so faithful this past week. Discouragement has really come and gone here in Spain in a number of ways. I have been to the point of wishing I could just sing out loud through the house and then to the point of sitting with the Lord saying, "I don't want really feel like having You pry through all this stuff in my heart but it's the last thing I know to do at this point." The theme for this week seems to be "Oh how He loves us" as I recently got ahold of that song in Spanish and it has been running through my head constantly.

A few days ago, I had a friend say, "You probably aren't celebrating Thanksgiving this year, right?." But to be honest, not only did I celebrate, but apart from missing my family a ton, it turned out to be one of the best Thanksgivings ever. After celebrating the holiday with my host family (which was so cute as the Christmas decorations covering the house accounted for the lack of Thanksgiving decorations), I flew to Paris to meet up with friends from Snowbird who are currently living in various parts of Europe.

Of course, Paris is such a beautiful city and the thrill of being there seemed to be enough. However, I cannot express how encouraged I was to sit with the Body of Christ around a table in Paris, France (while eating a rotisserie chicken, stuffing, mashed potatoes, creamed corn, sweet tea, and a french baguette) and be reminded of how incredible the Lord has been in our lives this semester. I hope and pray that after many months of being thirsty for Christian community, I will not take for granted the campus ministry and believers I can spend time with at App.
Thanks for your prayers. Classes are wrapping up around here and the realization that this is it is here. But, I will be realistic and say three weeks is still a long time.

I praise Him because He loves me, no matter how wretched I am.