This morning started early. Very early. Those of us crazy enough to wake, met up with 5 Spaniards for a 2 mile hike up a mountain. One of Jon’s main mantras is “relationships are best built over doing“-and that certainly was the case this morning! There were great conversations had the entire way. Some of the young people we hung out with last night, invited a new friend, and he was especially open and talkative to Jon-which was super fun :). It was a very steep hill, and my legs are feeling it, but it was a great way to start the day. We rewarded ourselves by stopping in town for a cup of coffee and some complimentary treats. A beautiful, exhausting, and delicious way to start the day.
We went with some of our new Spanish friends and toured the city’s castle turned museum, and then we went to market and practiced using our Spanish by buying ingredients for our upcoming meal. We had lunch at Jon and Lorena’s teammates’ home and enjoyed some fellowship and rest.
The The last part of the day was my FAVORITE part of the day. There is a spunky woman from London who moved to Spain about 10 years ago, who runs an English Academy in Ponferrada. She organized a time for a handful of her students to meet with our team to practice English. She decided on a conversation topic for us to have together. And guess what it was? Religion. A topic that we just so happen to be very passionate about :). It was a trying and insightful experience to try and explain our thoughts in Spanish, and very interesting to hear their thoughts in English. The atheist and agnostic 17/18 year olds did a great job of explaining what they believe about the universe, about science, about religion, and about the Bible. Both sides asked great questions and were mutually respectful. We LOVE these kind of conversations-seeds planted. We look forward to spending more time with these Spaniards and getting to know them more the next few days! We hope too, that Jon can continue getting to know them and both ask and answer hard questions.
Oh did I mention we all tried octopus today? Well, we did! The texture was kind of unpleasant, but the taste was not bad!
Oh-one more awesome thing! Remember how we had another leader of the trip, but because of unforeseen circumstances, he wasn’t able to come? Well, today he became a grandfather for the first time, and because he wasn’t on the trip-he was able to be with his family-which was a huge blessing. God works in mysterious ways 🙂
Please pray for each of our team members. Spiritually, emotionally, mentally, physically. There are various burdens and levels of tiredness within each of us, and to best continue loving people like Jesus loved them-prayer would be very helpful. I encourage you to send a prayer, a verse, or an encouraging message to the team member you are supporting to continue investing in them. I think they would really appreciate that!
For the Team,