Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New Year's Greeting from Madrid

What has happened to the McMillans? Did they ever arrive in Spain? Did they ever find an apartment??? The answer is “yes!” We stayed with the Muhas for 11 days while we registered with the court house, opened up an account at a bank, hunted for apartments, arranged to rent/borrow a car, bought a GPS (very important)and adjusted to the 6 hour time difference. We had our first team building retreat on the first weekend after our arrival. After that, we moved to a guest house/office combination outside of the city so that there would be room for Melissa and Jonathan. They arrived on Dec. 20 and 21. By then we had a contract on an apartment, and we needed to find something to sleep on, eat on, eat with, cook with.....

On Christmas day we moved in, threw a chicken in the oven, and went to pick up Heather at the airport. Later that afternoon we went over to celebrate together with Micah and Kimberly Yaun, a young couple from our home church who are doing an internship in a township east of Madrid. While our 3 visitors were here, 2 of them became engaged! Heather is now engaged to Jonathan, who is finishing his masters in Civil Engineering in Delft, Netherlands.

We made an overnight trip to Cordoba to see the famous Mesquita and other historic sites in the city. After Melissa left on January 5th we set about in earnest to look for furniture. We went with prefab furniture that you put together for the office and extra kitchen counter and cabinet space. Since all of the buildings where we live are less than 10 years old, the apartment is really nice, 4th floor, 3 bedrooms plus a storage room and one parking space in the basement. Once our shipment arrives, the office, spare bedroom, and storage room will fill up quickly with mostly books and resource materials! Now that the big sales have started we have ordered our bedroom furniture which should arrive in a month. The last major item is the living/dining room combo. We bought a 2001 Ford Focus.

As far as our visas go, Peter has gone to the immigration office 4 times. They had asked for 2 new documents that were not previously required. After each appointment the agent sent him back for another adjustment. Finally everything cleared. Then he asked the other agent about Sharon's visa. There it was, on the top of the agent's desk! She said that we should hear from the embassy in about 2 weeks. This means that Sharon will go back to Washington, D.C. sometime in February to pick up her visa.

We have been able during the holidays to get together with some of the members of the church. Peter has already preached 2 times, Sharon has helped some with the children and gave a workshop this past Sunday for those interested in working with children. Also, she filled in on piano during the worship service. We have begun weekly team meetings on Thursdays, as well as the regular men's and women's Bible studies. The three leaders and wives will begin intentional discipleship with the people who regularly attend. For 4 days we will be at a camp location near Toledo for the TEAM Spain annual conference starting Jan. 20.