I am a missionary in Spain who desires for the power of the Holy Spirit to be unleashed in me, to be unabashed about the love of Christ, and unafraid to go where God calls. These are my stories in this journey of letting God have everything.

29 March 2006

Mi Casa

Hey everyone! I've been living here for almost 3 months now and have finally taken video of my flat. Unfortunately my camera doesn't have sound on it though so I'll walk you through a tour of the Holy Spirit House (our street is Calle Espiritu Santo which means Holy Spirit street). So as you walk in the door you are in the foyer, turn left into the studio/office, keep going and you are in the living room. That's Kelly (roommate) at her desk, Jo at the table, Marianna by the tv, and Victoria (roommate) massaging her own head. As you can see, we have some really interesting wall decor. We have 2 balconies that overlook the street. Ok, now turn back around and go back through the living room, studio, and foyer and head down the hall. This is the guest bathroom, next is our yellow kitchen. Notice we have a dish washer, microwave, oven, and washing maching in there. Ok, back out into the hall and turn right. The next room is Victoria's. Sorry I didn't film that at all. Last but not least, me and Kelly's room. My side of the room is first and then into Kelly's. Yes, we do have the same armoir's, they were on sale at Ikea. Through our room is the bathroom fit for royalty. As you can see, the sinks are really high and our tub/shower is huge and has jets!!! We do have a bidet, it works well for washing feet and bleaching things. Back out into my room and you can see my friends that came with me, Kermit, Scruffy Bunny, and my prayer bear. My family is here with me too. Mom, Dad, Matt, and Pete I miss you guys and love you! Aunt Jean, Steve, Tim, Karen, Sam, Naomi, and Joshua I see you guys everyday above me desk. Thanks for always bringing a smile to my face. Hope you enjoyed your tour. The fee is minimal, now that you've seen a video of my house, you have to verify how accurate it is and visit Madrid!!!

28 March 2006

My Trip to the Post Office

So I got a notice the other day that I had a package to pick up from the post office. Let me just assure that that kind of notice made my day. Anyway, yesterday Kelly and I set off for the Post Office by way this cool building and by way of the Thyssen Museum. I went to the Thyssen on Friday with my Spanish class to check out the temporary Russian Avant-Gardes exhibit. It was pretty interesting and yet slightly stressful as our teacher was explaining the exhibit in Spanish, and I thought just every day conversation was difficult... So before I left I of course had to visit the gift shop. I found a really cool book that is all about Madrid, but for kids. I decided to get it because I really like it when I looked at it and the Spanish isn't too difficult. I picked up one of the books that was wrapped in plastic and bought it. When I got home I realized that it is in English. I don't really need a children's book in English right now. Anyway, all of that to say that I wanted to exchange the book for the one in Spanish. So on the way to the post office we went by there and of course, it was closed today. That is one annoyance I have with Madrid, you often never know when something will be open or closed. After walking out of the way to go to a museum that was closed we finally got to the post office, or should I say the "Palace of Communications." This is actually the name of this building. It was incredible! Everything was marble and quite grand. I'm pretty sure you won't find anything quite like this in the states.
Besides the grandeur of the building I was most taken with the small brown package that traveled over the Atlantic ocean from home just for me. In everything that is different and amazing, there is something also amazing about the normalcy of home. It has been very interesting trying to live a life of both over the last couple of months. This form of communication has been such a blessing with keeping me connected to home as well as the spectacular post office.
I was glad to experience the "Palace of Communications" yesterday but let me just ask you this question, did it make sense that I had to go there for my package when we passed at least 2 post offices between my house and there? I don't know either! We'll be in touch!

16 March 2006

The Incarnation and Jack Johnson

This past Sunday was an incredible day. It started with a core building meeting with the leaders of my church, Oasis Madrid and ended with a concert. During our morning meeting we talked about the incarnation and what it means. It was such a great discussion about how the church, as the body of Christ, is in and of itself the incarnation. What heavy implications that brings!!! We as believers need to be a presence in the community and bring the love of Christ to all we come into contact with. Often times this just means being and loving, what beautiful simplicity.

All of that to say that in the evening a few of us went to the Jack Johnson concert here in Madrid. It is interesting thinking about it now as we had the tickets before the incarnation discussion. While at the concert, I had a plethera of observances. One, there were more North Americans and Brits than I have seen in one place here in Spain. I had to constantly remind myself where I was. Two, wow is it loud and smoky in this bull fighting stadium. Three, there are so many lost people here. And four, how can I love these people with the love of Christ. I think an to answer that last observance is by simply being there and not being ashamed of who Christ has made me. Another way, thanks to Calvin College, is to discern what I was seeing and hearing and thus appreciate the beauty of the music, the gifts that Jack Johnson has been blessed with, and the joy that music brings to so many people. Let me just finish with a line from one of Jack Johnson's songs and you tell me if Christ could possibly speak through this: "Love is the answer at least for most of the questions of my heart...It's always better when we're together!" Thanks for listening to my ramblings, more to come soon!

07 March 2006

The Best Mom Ever!!!

I think this may turn out to be a somewhat contraversial post, but I am willing to take that risk. So here goes, despite what you think about your own mom, if there was a contest, my mom would by far win for "Best Mom Ever" hands down. We may have some issues if you disagree! (He He He) Anyway, I just wanted you all to know that I love my mom so much that I am willing to start fights over it. Mom, you are amazing. You have set such an example for me to follow, I am sure that when you meet our Saviour face to face He will say "Well done my good and faithful servant." You are one of the most dedicated people I know, your love for Christ permeates everthing you are. Your unconditional love for Dad and for me, Matt, and Pete is unquestionable. I'm not sure why God has blessed us so, but I am greatful beyond words that He did. I keep hoping that because I look like you, I will end up picking up some of your incredible characteristics as well. Let me assure you all that if my mom says she will pray for you, she will, even if she doesn't know you. Mom, you are a warrior for the Kingdom. Although I don't necessarily want to obtain your enjoyment of cleaning, I do want to be disciplined like you. I pray that someday I can be half the wife and mother you are. Mom, I love you so much and wish I could be with you on your birthday. I miss you tons and think about you often. Those of you in Maryland, please tell my mom Happy Birthday and give her a hug for me today.

06 March 2006


Holy cow, I can't even believe that I have been living in Madrid for two months now. It is simply unbelievable, but it is true. God has been so good to me over the past couple of months. I have been able to see quite a bit of Madrid, go to Geneva, dance a few times, make some incredible new friends, and serve Madrid. I feel like I am finally starting to settle in. I have a more regular schedule now and will even be starting to take some classical ballet/spanish ballet classes this week. I am so excited!!! This past week our team leaders were gone to Lisbon for a conference with other team leaders from Christian Associates. Kelly and I watched their kids and put together our Oasis service for Saturday night. We are in a series on "body parts" and offering them to God. Kelly talked about the right brain and it was great. You should check it out here. When Kelly was finished talking, I danced the prayer. It was really cool. Because the room we meet in is pretty small there isn't much space to dance so I used American Sign Language and some smaller dance steps to pray the Lord's Prayer, sung by Jennifer Knapp. I am so thankful that God invites us to worship Him in creative and engaging ways. HE IS SO GOOD!!!

Another highlight from this weekend was that the founder/director of my organization, CAI, Linus Morris came to visit. He and his wife Sharon came to our Oasis Madrid service Saturday night and then visited Mountainview Church, another CAI church in Madrid on Sunday. Last night all of the CAI missionaries got together with Linus and Sharon. This is just one more thing I love about CAI, a director who really cares about what is going on, even with the little interns like me, and is incredibly real and down to earth. I know that God is pleased with what Christian Associates is doing. I am so greatful to be a part of a community of grace like this. Speaking of community, our community of believers is getting together tonight for a slightly late Ash Wednesday service, Troy and Heather were gone last week. I am really looking forward to this time of being vulnerable and open with my brothers and sisters in Christ and beginning to prepare for Easter. What a loving and powerful God we serve.

Well, I'm so sorry it has taken me so long to post another blog, would you believe culture shock if I used that as an excuse?! Seriously, it is interesting how moving away from everyone you know into a completely new culture can mess with your brain. Don't get me wrong, I love it here, but there are days when I really miss my family, friends who really know me, my church in the states, and hearing English spoken on the street and in shops. On those days, I know that God is with me and wants me to be here, out of my comfort zone, taking a risk for His kingdom. I pray that where ever you are, God will take you out of your comfort zone for the furthering of His kingdom.