I actually like:
Hanging my clothes to dry outside on a line with clothespins.
such hot weather that allows for dresses everyday.
having to flag down my waitress when I need anything because they don't check on you, don't pressure you to rush or leave.
all the stores being closed in the late afternoon forcing me to relax and siesta.
rarely having wifi or any cell phone service that keeps me from being on my phone as often.
walking everywhere. Sure I miss driving, but everything is so close in the small town of Altea & walking has been nice.
Saturday, July 20, 2013
I am not used to being so without words. Well, it isn't that I don't have words, rather that I am not sure where to even begin. My time here is...slow. But with a sense of urgency at the same time. Some days every minute is scheduled. We wake up to have group Bible study and then we go to the grocery store to start cooking for our community meal, and then the meal itself is very Spanish in that it lasts at least 2 hours. Then we might have a short siesta, or we might visit a cafe where we know a Spanish friend will be. I try to be very intentional. Every restaurant/cafe/bar that I frequent is because there is a relationship there I want to build upon. In the evenings we have a 'creative night' or worship night or fiesta night we have to prepare for. Other days there are scheduled events in the morning & night but the afternoon is ours. It's beautiful to be able to just enjoy life but in the midst there is purpose and love and intention. I am experiencing personal growth just as much as I am doing work externally.
Of course there are vices to the Spanish culture, but one of the many virtues is how they savor life. They truly are very present. I rarely see a Spaniard on their cell phone, I rarely see people walking and talking on their phones like in the states. They engage quickly with you and they aren't in a rush. Granted, I am speaking based off a few small towns on the coast. But still, drastically different. And something I am grateful to learn from. Ahh what a beautiful experience this has been. And it's not over. There are many more moments I need to seize, many opportunities to take advantage of with my new friends here in Altea. I am thankful for how I have learned to embrace my outgoing/wooing strength and see it as just that- a strength. It has definitely been used here. I think I have felt like I can be myself this past month. There is such freedom in that. Wow. The Lord has truly blessed me. I pray that I continue to have this perspective amidst discouragement, insecurity, or impatience.
Thursday, July 11, 2013
1st Thessalonians chapter 2, verses 1 until about 9 struck me as very similar to our hearts here in Spain. Even though many of the Spanish are wary of religion/God/church, we will persevere (v.2). We want to share our lives with them, as well as the Gospel (v.8). Not just one or the other. We will have fun with them and laugh and share stories in order to earn their trust & respect. Our motives are still pure. I want to see my friends in Spain as just that- friends, not projects. I need to remember that I don't do this to please men but the Lord (v.4). And so, of course we may offend, of course it may be uncomfortable, of course there will be some success & some failure, but we do it for the sake of Jesus Christ and that the good news of His sacrifice might be known. We want the world to be redeemed back to its Creator. I want Alex to know His heavenly Father. I want Carlos to find fulfillment in Christ. I want Ana to know her identity as a chosen one of God.
I know that we join with all other believers across the globe in what we do. Our desire that the earth would know the truth of Jesus. We join with those who went before us, even Paul, Timothy and Silas. Pray for us that we might carry out this good work. That we might be in tune with the Spirit when to speak and when to wait. When to love in action and when to love by speaking up.
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Jesus, we just want more of You. Each and every day reveal Yourself in various situations, conversations and events.
Saturday, July 6, 2013
A few things...
Staying up until 3am has become normal. Crazy.
I had some friggin delicious pizza. Gorgonzola, thin potato slices and walnuts-- different but fantastic. Another with pumpkin cream (??) and bacon...don't knock it.
My American friends stink at beach volleyball ;)
I use a lot of Mexican words, apparently.
My first paella was amazing.
Celsius and kilometers are killing me.
I am still having a great time. I am learning to find the Lord in so much more than just the Bible. Please pray I know His presence at all times. I brought up God to one of my Spanish friends, Alex. It was very small, but encouraging nonetheless. I hope to be more bold, but also not to strategize all the time and just wait on the Lord for opportunities. He desires them for himself more than I do, I must remember.
It is definitely different being at least 4 years older than all the other team members who are still in college. My director's daughter is 25 and she used to live in Spain with her family for 8 years & now comes back every summer. She lives with us and is a HUGE blessing to me. Thank you Jesus for how You knew I would need that.
Two other Edgies (what our director calls us team members) and myself will attend the local Catholic church tomorrow, to get a feel of that culture here. Edge Project is all about getting to know the Altea community, not being complete outsiders.
It's only the beginning & yet it is also going by so quickly.
Thursday, July 4, 2013
Some photos thus far...
lots of beautiful stone stairs
one of the main streets
this is me with my brie & cherry tapa I made for our fiesta!
this is our back patio/balcony...I already spend a lot of time in that hammock!
ahhhhh & here is that gorgeous Mediterranean Sea
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
it has been so wonderful. We definitely needed to adjust our bodies from all the traveling & time change, so the first day we just relaxed & toured the town and got a basic rundown of our schedule during our team here. I was ready to start meeting people & using my Spanish and doing something. Even today I felt a little spoiled to be walking along the beach, and eating at a café, and taking a siesta (rest/nap time). I mean, it's pretty glorious to fall asleep while reading in a hammock that overlooks the Mediterranean Sea, so I'm definitely not complaining.
ANYWAY, let me get to the best part. Tonight, I feel like I got a glimpse of what Edge Project really does here. We had a fiesta, where Arianna (my director) and her daughter (Xara) invited a bunch of their friends in town and we made tapas and just hung out. Let me just tell you-- I was in my element!!! First off, I was super bold about using my Spanish even though sometimes I am insecure with it, and it was awesome! I felt so confident, and I was able to easily hold conversations & joke with them. Plus, some of them speak a little English so if I didn't know a word we could figure it out. I made so many friends, and it was so much fun. I really hope to get to know them more and spend more time with some of those folks and get talking about the good stuff ;) Arianna says they pretty much all know what we're about & they respect what we believe, even if they don't believe it themselves. I am going to be praying for each of them. Such a fun night, I can't even tell you. The house I am staying at has a beautiful "terraza" which is a large patio balcony, where we hung out until the last people left at 1am.
So good to use my gift of hospitality and welcoming people and being relational in conjunction with my Spanish. Cannot wait to see how else Jesus uses me.
Stay tuned!! :)