Friday, July 8, 2011

English Camp Granada 2011 Complete

Catch-Up: English Camp is over! I cannot believe it. It seems like yesterday the kids were first arriving and I was learning their names. It has been two crazy weeks. There have been ups. There have been downs. But through it all, I have made some strong connections with the kids and it was tough to say goodbye to them all last night. Just to give you a run down of how camp looked for me from day to day:

> 8:00am Arrive at locale
>9:00am Kids arrive
>9:20am Everyone together sings
> 9:40am Go to crafts
>10:35am Go to sports
>11:40 am Lunch (really just snack time)
>12:20 pm Go to English Class
>1:30pm Go to Closing Session

I was a Monitor for 6 kids week 1 and 5 kids week 2 (one of my kids didn´t come back). However, I was a part of a bigger group of 15 with two other Monitors-- a "Miss Judy" and "Dr. Rand". They were an older married couple from Oregon. I was the only one to call them Miss and Dr. but I think they loved it. On many occasions, Dr. Rand (who is a Dr. in ESL) would remain all day in the English class which left Miss Judy and I with 15 kids by ourselves. This meant a lot more work for us, but it also allowed me to make some great connections with other kids. Overall, camp was tough but great.

Now: This morning I am leaving Granada on a bus bound for Madrid. I will live in Tres Cantos with my 3rd Spanish family (it´s been crazy but fun, and I get to see many different sides of Spanish family life). I will be in Tres Cantos only 5 more days and then I fly out to the United States. It´s hard to believe my time in Spain is almost over!

Prayer Requests:
>That God would use seeds planted at English Camp in the lives and hearts of the kids and parents.
>That God would use seeds planted in the host families lives.
>That God would grant travelling mercies.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

English Camp Granada

You better read this blog because I´m having to type this twice. It erased it the first time!

Catch Up: Exhuastion
We just ended day 3 of English Camp Granada. It is tough. I am totally exhausted by 2 p.m. when we end. I am working with 11 year olds, and they seem more than any group to be the toughest. In fact, almost everyday Marteen Slot tells me how much he wishes he could split my group because of how hard it is. But I always like a good challenge :)  So I get up at 7 am and am at the Centro Civico by 8. The students arrive at 9. We have a snack around 12 and they leave around 2. It makes for a really long day. I come home and eat lunch and then it is off to bed for a good long siesta.

At camp, I am in charge of 6 students in my break out group. I have 2 girls who hangout by themselves. Then 1 boy who is a year younger and therefore outcast. Also 1 who is really smart but socially awkward and outcast. And then 2 boys who are chulito (they have big heads). It makes for a really tough group. Then, I am one of what is supposed to be 3 workers with the blue group (the older kids), but 1 of the monitors has moved over to just working in the English Class. That means it is just Ms. Judy and I working with like 15 kids! So I am pretty exhausted. But it has been fun and we have a good team of monitors here to work with.

Cool Moment:
I was able to talk with the host mother, she is pretty much the only one who speaks English. We got on the subject of Catholicism. She sounded much more like a Protestant than a Catholic. She does not attend Mass on a regular basis because she gets nothing out of it and says the people are all hypocritical anyway. She does attend a Catholic small group and she told me this has been great. Unfortunately, she didn´t make a strong statement about Jesus, but she did tell me repeatedly that she believes in God. A very interesting conversation. Hopefully, God will use the broken conversation and difficult translating to do something great in her life and in mine.

Prayer requests:
>That I can continue to be a light to the host family.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Adios Tres Cantos, Hola Granada

Hey that rhymed! Anyway, it is true.

Catch-up:  We have left Tres Cantos and made our way south to Granada. It was kinda sad to leave because I won´t see my host family from Tres Cantos again. We left yesterday and arrived in Granada around 5. That afternoon we were able to swim with the children of the workers here-- which was great because it is pretty hot here, above 35C or 95F. (That is one thing I have had to adjust to, the different units like Celsius or Kilometers, fortunately I was able to download an app on my Ipod to convert the units!) Then last night I was dropped off at my host families home. I was a little nervous, as always when meeting random people who I am going to live with for a while. But it has turned out pretty awesome so far. The parents are Miguel and Alicia. Miguel doesn´t really speak any English but fortunately Alicia speaks very well. They have two children-- Miguel (19) and Licia (17). They have a beautiful house, and huge by Spain standards (it would be big in Toccoa too!) Last night, the family took me to see the Alhambra all lit up by the lights. It was really cool to see at night. I can´t wait to be able to see inside. Of course, we went on this trip before dinner which means we didn´t eat supper until after 11! But that is Spain for you! Today has been very relaxing. I was able to sleep in for the first time in a long time. Then lounge around the house for a few hours, as well as playing Black Ops with Miguel, the son not the father! It has been a really nice break. I think later we will go into Granada again.

Coming Up: Tomorrow we have a meeting about the English Camp here. Then on Sunday we are going into Granada to see the Alhambra. Monday brings the beginning of English Camp Granada 2011. It is going to be great!

Prayer Requests:
>That God will use me as a light with this new family and that the Holy Spirit will be working on their hearts and minds.
>That I will have enough energy to really invest in the kids at the English Camp.
>That God will continue to teach me new things as I enter a new section of my internship.

Thank you! Sorry, I have no pictures this time-- new house, computer, etc.

Monday, June 20, 2011

3 Weeks In


So, I was hoping to rest the past few days after our long trip across España, but that definitely didn´t happen. On Saturday, Enrique (my host padre) took me to see Real Madrid statium-- the Bernabeau. However, when we got there we didn´t go in because they had most of the tour closed because of the event happening outside. In the plaza right in front of the statium, the NBA was having an event. Dwight Howard and Jrue Holiday were puting on an event for the people of Madrid. It was crazy. Of all the places in the world that I would see an NBA player, I would never have guessed it would have been in Madrid! So that was pretty awesome. Then we walked around Madrid together-- which was exhausting given that I was already really tired. But it was a great time to talk with Enrique and get to know him better. Then yesterday (Sunday), we had chuch in Tres Cantos and then a celebration lunch for the graduates for Institution (high school). After that, Tim Wendel took Joe and I to a Chinese church in Madrid. It was crazy, Tim told us we were going to speak to the youth group and that they would understand English. Well, when we got there, it wasn´t the case. They only spoke Spanish. So last minute I decided to change what I was going to talk about and I gave my testimony in Spanish that I had translated earlier. Luckly, Joe went first with a translator which gave me time to prepare. After my testimony, I read Romans 8:12-18 to them in Spanish and tried to expound a little with the help of a translator. I tried to do as much as I could in Spanish, though, and it was fantastic. Definitely had to rely on God in that situation! Didn´t know what I was going to say until just before getting up to talk! But it went great. Then today, we went and taught English for an hour in two different classes in a local elementary school. They were 2nd and 4th graders, and full of energy! It was pretty fun, although we really didn´t know what we were doing at first. Overall, I think it went great and this weekend was pretty awesome. Hopefully I can get some rest this week before we go to Granada for 2.5 weeks. Well, adios!

Enjoy the pictures!
Dwight Howard dancing

Giving my testimony in Spanish to Chinese Youth in Madrid

Katey W. and I teaching English to 2nd Graders

Katey and I teaching English to the same 2nd Graders

Thursday, June 16, 2011

2.5 Weeks In

Ok, so these 2 and a half weeks have gone by way too fast. We´ve been doing so much travelling this last week that it is hard to believe it is already Thursday! Let me recap... Let´s see... Well last week we went to Toledo which was a facinating city. It was also quite amazing. Then on Sunday we left on our major trip across España, we went to Zaragoza then Teruel then Peñiscola then Barça then back to Madrid on Wednesday. We saw so much, I won´t even try to right it all out. I´ll just hit the high points. In Zaragoza we saw the Bascilica of Our Lady of the Pilar where they worship Mary. In Teruel we visited one of the only painted cathedrals in all of Spain and Tim forced us to eat some octopus-- blah! In Peñiscola, we ate lunch in the old city right on the Mediterranean. In Barça, we went on a prayer walk around the neighborhood of some workers there. Then we went to Montserrat, which was absolutely breath-taking. The next day we attacked Barça, where we saw the Sagrada Familia designed by Gaudi. It is still being constructed 120 years later, but it is probably the most incredible architecture I´ve ever seen. Then we travelled home. Then today, we went into Madrid and saw the Prado and Retiro Park. I am so tired of travelling, hahaha. But it has been incredible.

Now, I am definitely looking forward to some down time in Tres Cantos and spending some time with my host family. Low and behold, tomorrow we are going to Segovia! It never ends in a country as complex and historical as España.

So, what has God been doing? Well, in the church service in Zaragoza, Joe (the other intern) and I gave our testimonies in Spanish. In Barça, we went on a prayer walk that was incredible. And at several different cathedrals we have had a window into the past and into the Spanish psychie. At Montserrat, the Cathedral had a staind glass mural of God the Father and Jesus crowning Mary!!! It was very eye opening and extremely depressing.

So how can you pray for me?
>That I can continue to be a witness to my host family.
>That I will find my strength in Him.
>That God will create a revival in the hearts and minds of the Spanish people.

Thank you!

Oh here are some pictures to enjoy from my travels!
The Group in Zaragoza on ancient Roman ruins of the wall. 
The Bascilica of Our Lady of the Pilar

Eating next to the Mediterranean Sea

The view from Monserrat

The prayer candles from the cathedral on Montserrat

Sunday, June 5, 2011

First Week Recap

Wow, I can´t believe the first week is over already! It has been a crazy and awesome week. I met my host family and have become adjusted to life here. I helped Tim Westergren paint the G.V. Center, which turned out to be quite a task when we couldn´t find the paint we needed and had to mix it ourselves! Other than that, I have just been spending lots of time with my host family. They are awesome. They have two kids-- Celia who is 15 and David who is 11. This past weeked, the father and I drove to Leon (about 3.5 hours) to watch David who played in a basketball tournament there. It was great to see the Spanish countryside and to see Leon. It has a wonderful cathedral that was built in the 13th century. I also had quite the cultural experience in Leon. We ate two meals in Spanish bars. No, I dídn´t drink any alcohol. :) But it was interesting to watch everyone else in the bar interact and to see that side of Spanish culture. On the way back, the father and I stopped and saw one of the many castles in Castilla y Leon. It was amazing. Today, I went to the CCTC (the Tres Cantos church) and enjoyed the worship with the people even though it was in Spanish. Fortunately, a lot of Spanish seems to be coming back and I am learning a lot more. I still can´t speak very much, but I am able to understand a lot more. So that is an answer to prayer. Tomorrow the other intern arrives and the internship officially begins. I can´t wait to see what else God has in store!

As I continue, I ask that you would pray for these requests:
>That I will be a light for those around me
>That I will be able to be an encouragement to the workers here.
>That God would open the eyes and hearts of the Spanish people (they are very postmodern and have no need for a god or savior)

Gracias. ¡Hasta luego!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Paris Done, Internship in Spain Begins!

Hey Everyone,

So I have just arrived in Spain after my week in Paris. For those of you who don't know, I arrived in Paris on Tuesday night and found my way by myself to the other side of town to the appartment of some awesome people I was able to stay with. Wednesday I went into Paris and saw Notre-Dame (which was awesome), then saw Sainte-Chapalle (which was more awesome), and then wandered around the historic center of Paris stopping at random exhibits and museums. That evening I cruised the Seine River on a boat tour of Paris. Wednesday was great until late that night when I began throwing up. Whether it was food poisoning, the flu, or a combination of exhaustion and dehydration, I don't know. But it was aweful. Thursday I spent sick all day. Friday I barely ate trying to regain my strength and on Saturday I was finally able to go back into Paris. That day I made it to all the big sights-- the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triumph, and Sacre-Coeur. Then came Sunday. Sunday I went out to Versailles. That was the highlight of the trip. Versailles was amazing. The Domaine de Marie-Antoinette was fantastic. Then on Monday I went to the Army Museum and the Louvre and flew out to Madrid. And of course my flight was delay 2 hours so I didn't get into Madrid until after 1:oo A.M.

So my analysis of Paris? Paris is beautiful. My only complaint? There are very, very few public restrooms. It is nearly impossible to find a bathroom when you need one. If you can't find a public one, then you'll have to pay to use one elsewhere. And even if you find a public restroom, the line is really long.

Anyway, now I'm in Spain and I'm ready for my internship to begin. I met the father of the family I am staying with last night. In a few minutes I will be heading out to work on the G.V. center here with one of the fellow workers.

As I go forward, would you pray that
--I am able to continue to adjust to the new rythm of life here
--Be a solid witness to the family I am with
--Remain strong and growing in the Word

Thank you!