Monday, March 22, 2010

Julie's Visit

This past week one of my good friends from the States came and visited me. We had a lot of fun, having opportunities to go sightseeing in Córdoba -
in Gibraltar -
in Mijas -
and Málaga -

However, this week wasn't one of just play. On March 18 and 19 the church had two work/cleaning days. On those days Julie and I painted, cleaned, organized, and had just as much fun as when we were sightseeing. We also kept my normal schedule for the most part, being involved with the church and its people. It was a very busy, but fun, 11 days.
Praise reports:
  • March 13 I shared with the Youth Group and that went really well. I talked to them about being chosen and called by God.
  • Julie arrived safely and we had an amazing time together. (She is returning today; please pray for a safe trip home.)
  • Every day I am continuing to improve in Spanish. I've had a friend offer to get together with me a couple of times a week to help me with my Spanish. In return I'll help her with her English.
If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or would just like to email me, you can contact me at: Thank you all for everything!
~ Grace

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A God Opportunity

For the first time in days, if not weeks, we are having a sunny (though cold) day. Before this we've had so much rain there have been a number of floods. Interestingly enough, in one of the Bible studies I am a part of, we've been learning about being thirsty for God. In Psalms, David talks about how his life is like a drought without God. We've all had some good laughs while learning that.

Spain is notoriously hard and closed to the Gospel and Benalmádena is especially difficult. While we don't know what, we do know that something happened here in Benalmádena years ago with a Christian outreach. Because of this, the entire eight years the Chesneys have been here the officials have not allowed any sort of Christian outreaches, ministry, etc. However, recently a church was given permission to hold a service – only worship with absolutely no preaching. We grabbed this God opportunity and ran with it.

Just last Friday night, March 5, a group of churches got together (including our church) and put on a two hour English/Spanish worship service. Our worship team played a "special." We were the only completely Spanish church (Spanish speaking, and Spanish people). We played "Mi Padre Me Ama" (which translated is, “My Father Loves Me”).

Not only did everyone have a great time, but the whole evening was a grand success. We are all looking forward to many more opportunities like this – God opportunities.

Monday, March 1, 2010

One Month Check-In

Can you believe that I've now been in Spain a full month? I know I'm still trying to grasp that. When I mentioned to someone that I felt like I'd only been here half that much time, she told me "at least you don't feel like you've been here a year." =)

I'm happy to say that I truly am enjoying my time here and learning lots. I've established a pretty set routine for each week, using just about every second available. My week starts on Tuesdays and goes until Sundays. When Monday finally rolls around, I'm more than ready for my day off and to take full advantage of the day to recharge.

Here is a brief glance at my weekly schedule:
Tuesdays: Bible study in the morning, administration in the afternoon, worship practice that night.
Wednesdays: Staff meetings in the morning (which I sometimes am and am not a part of), administration in the early afternoon, Bible study in the late afternoon, church service in the evening.
Thursdays: House cleaning in the morning, administration in the afternoon, and a "Grupo de Connexión" (Connections small groups that get together in people's homes and learn/discuss a certain topic about the Bible; we just finished going over Biblical Values) in the evening.
Fridays: Beth Moore Bible Study in the morning, administration that afternoon, and another Grupo de Connexión that evening.
Saturdays: Any loose ends to be tied up from the week and any last minute details in order to be ready for the Sunday service, Youth Group in the evening.
Sunday: Church in the morning and afternoon, short rest, membership class at night.
Monday: a glorious nada! Nothing this day unless it's for fun.

Interspersed through all of that, I meet with my Spanish tutor, get together with friends, and other unplanned-until-that-week things. I might also be starting Spanish classes at the local cultural center in order to improve my Spanish and learn it faster; however, that depends on just how expensive it is and at what time the classes are held.

Praise reports:
-I finally got over an annoying cold I'd had since before I even got here.
-I've also begun to pick up more and more of the language so that I can now reply to just about everything said, even when not said slowly and very distinctly.
-I've settled in to my life here, made a number of good friends, and learned so much, about missions, about people, and about myself.
-Lastly, one of my very good friends from the States has tickets to come visit me from March 11 - March 22. I'm so excited about this opportunity to have her come. Please pray for a safe and blessed trip.

Prayer requests:
-I would ask you to please pray for my Spanish tutor, Rocio, who is not a Christian, though both her mother and brother are Christians and attend the church here.
-Please pray that I would continue to improve in Spanish.
-I have been asked to "preach" for the Youth Group on Saturday, March 13. Please pray that it goes well and I speak what God would have me say. Thankfully I will have a translator, since my Spanish is nowhere near good enough to adequately preach.

Thank you all for your prayers, your emails, and all your support. I'm looking forward to coming home and telling you all the amazing things God is doing here . . . in Spanish!

¡Muchas gracias por todos y Dios te bendiga!
- Grace -

Miss Patti and I - We had an Esther themed tea party and had lots of fun!