Saturday, April 25, 2009

Mercy Comes with the Morning

16 days left!

Every day here is different. I am on an emotional roller coaster right now. Some days I am ready to get on a plane and go home right then, and others I never want to leave Spain. Its weird. I am just trying to enjoy every moment, take lots of pictures and spend time with the people I will miss the most.

Here are a few specific dates coming up that we will need extra prayer for :)
Tuesday, April 28th- Tertulia. Kelly and Krin are giving the talk.
Thursday, April 30th- Our last Bible Study (there is one more after most of the XC students are gone)
Monday, May 4th- Exchange Student Despedida. Dinner with us and the team to review the semester and get a chance to say goodbye
Saturday, May 9th- End of Year Banquet. Our chance to say goodbye to all of the students and last night with the team and everyone here. We will have dinner and time at the house and then everyone goes out together until all hours of the morning.
Sunday May 10th/Monday May 11th- Rebecca, Meredith and I will take the last train to Madrid on sunday night so that we can board planes in the morning and head home! Please pray for safety in our journey & no problems. I will be flying by myself for the entire trip (Madrid to Munich, Munich to Chicago, Chicago to Phoenix) so I am hoping not to get lost or have any problems finding where I need to be!

We also still have a few more regular events left that I did not list specific dates for (the usual tues, wed, thurs events) and we are all trying to spend as much time loving on students as we can before we leave. Please just be praying for all of us to have opportunities to share with students and that their hearts will be open.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

stuck in the middle with you

This is going to be really random, so I apologize in advance and thank you if you actually take the time to read all of it.

I have been feeling lost lately. Like I am stuck between the US and Spain. I think it all comes down to fear. I am afraid of going home- afraid that everyone will have moved on without me, afraid that I don't have a place or a purpose there anymore. I am afraid to leave Spain- afraid of what will happen with the students we have met, afraid to be without my team. I'm trying not to focus on it, and instead make the most of the time I have left here, but there is this calendar on my wall of the events we have left... and its only one piece of paper. 4 short weeks. I have a to-do list on my desktop. I have people I need to meet with. I have suitcases under my bed that are just screaming to be packed (I am ignoring that particular urge at the moment)

Semana Santa was... interesting. The processions are a little creepy and somber. The whole thing made me very sad though- I think that Catholics here focus too much on the death of Christ and never on the resurrection. Easter is not a happy day. Jesus is always pictured dying on the cross. There are giant crosses and statues that are carried around the city during these processions. To carry one of these is a great "honor"- I quoted that because they believe that by taking on this great weight you can be granted atonement. Here is where I think it all comes in to play. It breaks my heart that they don't think the death and resurrection of Jesus are enough. He didn't mean enough. They have to walk barefoot and carry a heavy load around a city and say so many special prayers to "deserve" heaven. Traditions like this make our job here so much harder. The students have grown up seeing this all of the time. To them, belief in Jesus has to be this sad, somber existence of always having to repay for your own sins. They are amazed that this is something we enjoy and we are constantly trying to show them that following Jesus can be exciting and fun and full of life.

The second half of Semana Santa I finally got to leave Salamanca and Whitney, Ansley, Rebecca and I drove to Valencia (on the Southeast coast of Spain). Correction: I drove, they backseat drove :) It was great to get away for a little bit, see the ocean, get to see another city, HAVE A STARBUCKS and just relax for a few days. The drive home was a little crazy and we were slightly misplaced in Madrid for an hour or so, but we made it back unharmed and ready to go for our last month.

Please just keep all of us and the students in your prayers this last month. We are trying to fit as much as we can in a very short time, so everything needs to be drenched in Christ and we want to be as effective as we can be. There are 2 specific students I would like to have deep conversations with before I leave, but I do not want to put their names here. If you could just be thinking about them and to pray that I will have the words to say to them.