Friday, April 29, 2011

Community Involvement & First Baptism

You hold a plate of freshly baked cookies in your hand, cheerfully making your way down the hall to the apartment where new neighbors have just moved in. They answer the door and politely accept the cookies, thinking, “How quaint, that’s just like what the Americans do in the movies!” They tolerate the intrusion this time, but a second attempt would be regarded as too aggressive.

This was one of the gems that we learned by participating in the volunteer school of the Community of Madrid held April 6-8. We now have a better idea of cultural norms and needs in the community as well as being certified to volunteer in a nonprofit organization.

Sharon has already begun helping a foundation dedicated to provide quality activities and courses for mentally challenged adults and youth. On Thursday afternoons a group of volunteers supervises an outing to a park, museum, gallery, exposition and the like. Sharon was able to present the Gospel already to one of the other volunteers. Peter is taking a web design class at the newly opened cultural center in our neighborhood. Why are we doing this? We learn valuable lessons in the culture and make connections with families.

Our partners, the Muhas, are in the process of forming an association called New Life Unlimited. This will give us legal recognition to be able to offer courses and activities to the public.From March 5-13 five college students from Aletheia Church poured their energy into helping out with English classes taught by other missionaries. They also participated in street evangelism and practiced techniques of sharing the Gospel with props. We also helped with an English camp. Due to health problems, the director and some volunteers had to be absent, so we were available to meet this unexpected need.

Our ID number process has taken longer than normal. Peter was called in for his fingerprints and now has less than a month hopefully until he gets his plastic ID card. Sharon is now waiting to go in for her fingerprint stamps.

While our daughter Heather has been with us we took an orientation trip to Cataluña, one of the provinces that speaks a different language. An old friend of ours from Carúpano, Venezuela, Basilio Crespo, gave us a great tour of Barcelona to get us started. We learned firsthand some of its uniqueness and insistence on being different from Spain.

After 5 years of doctors’ visits, tests, and therapy our daughter Melissa is planning to undergo knee surgery in June as the pain and deterioration has increased. Pray for grace and strength in the meantime and details involving Sharon’s trip over and recuperation.

Recent activities: April 9- a seminary professor instructed our group in the basics of hermeneutics. April 17 was a joyful day for our budding church as we witnessed 3 people get baptized, Daniel, Luz Marina, and Jackie. We used a church in another area that had a baptistery. Add Image

First four months - Video Update

Here is a link to a 5 minute video that we made of the first 4 months in Spain: