Update from Spain: Day Eight

Today our team said our final goodbye to Ponferrada and started the first leg of our journey back to the states. It was sad to leave friends that we’ve come to love so dearly, but we leave with a lot of gratefulness in our hearts to have spent time with them (and with the hope that we’ll return again soon:)).

In reflecting about the week of ministry, our team shared how grateful we were to have so many wonderful experiences that help shape our view of missions, evangelism, legalism, and more. What a blessing it was to both learn from and aid Jon and his team!

On our way to our hotel near the airport today, we stopped at a charming little restaurant and had a classic Spanish delicacie, a Roasted Suckling Pig. It was quite an experience to have it divided in front of us via our own plates, and to pick through ear and hooves and ribs for our [oh my goodness, oh so tender] meat. Though it was only roasted with water and salt, it tasted INCREDIBLE!

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After lunch, we stuck around the city of Segovia, and checked out the cathedral, castle, and the aqueducts built by the Romans! It was pretty neat to see. While sight seeing, we continued having interesting dialogue and building our friendships with each other.

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After a few more hours in the van, and dinner in Madrid, we’re now settled into our hotels and ready for a good night’s rest. We’ll attend church tomorrow and check out Madrid more thoroughly, and then Monday we come home! Trips go by so quickly!

Thank you so much for your prayers. We still need prayers for our team’s well-being in spirit and in health. Also pray for Jon and Lorena! If you’d like to continue praying for them and getting updates about their lives in Spain-sign up here

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Soli Deo Gloria

For the Team,

Betty

Update from Spain: Day Six

When we woke up this morning, we didn’t know if we would have any energy left. I know for me, when my alarm went off, I wanted to break my iPhone. Ha.

After a shorter breakfast time, we had our morning devotion and orientation. Jeremy started us off with a devotion from John 18. He touched on two points: Christ’ humanity and God’s forgiveness. Christ, the God-man, empathized with our humanity. Peter betrayed him, yet he pursued Peter and forgave him.

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Next, we (and our new good friend Tere) went to the rehab center to spend the day with Jon’s friends there. In the morning, we were split up in small groups. Each group was assigned to one of the guys. Our goal was to serve them. We cleaned windows, floors, rooms, and flower beds. We also fed the animals. Well, that was just Nate. Lucky.

Around 2pm, we had lunch as one big group. This time, the guys put on a traditional Spanish cookout! The food was delicious. We sat around a table and had a great time of fun and relaxation. In fact, Kiersten and I harmonized to a Maroon 5 song. Fun fact: Spaniards play American popular music on their radio stations. We went on a 2-hour hike. It was hot and challenging, but it gave an opportunity to connect with the guys on a personal level.

Later on in the afternoon (because 7pm is still afternoon in Spain), we had back-to-back English hours with two different groups. First, we reunited with Rachel and her academy students near a local park. Instead of playing soccer, we played an information game. Topics such as stereotypes and embarrassing moments brought smiles to our faces. Second, we met up with Seth at a local bar to help some Spaniards practice speaking English. They did a wonderful job. It’s been great to continue developing and deepening our friendships with the Spaniards we’ve met!

We ate dinner at Seth & Crystal’s apartment and finished the day with a testimony, and our reflections on chapter 5 of the book we are reading together as a team. This was our longest day on the trip. Yet, we are already seeing the fruits of our labor. Jon and Lorena have been encouraged by our team. They even affirmed us by letting us know that we have done exactly was he was hoping for us to do. That is SUCH a blessing for us! Thank YOU for your support in making this happen, in aiding these missionaries in the work God has called them too.

Here are prayer requests from our team:

  • Physical and mental strength
    • Hydration (AQUA!)
    • ALLERGIES!
  • Connect more with the teens/students
  • Lorena’s health and baby (Praise, she’s fine)
  • Jon, Lorena, Seth, and Crystal’s need for friends’ and supporters’ encouragement and care

For the Team,

Chris

Update from Spain: Day Five

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.

IMG_0600The 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!

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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!

Gracias! 🙂

For the Team,

Betty

Why a Short Term Trip to Spain?

Hello readers! I thought it might be fun to keep you sporadically  updated on some of my journey to Spain! Below is an email I sent to our team reminding them of why we are going. This is not a vacation, nor is it simply to “experience a new culture”. We  have a goal and we have a purpose. 

Dear Teammates,

I am beyond excited that God is opening up the doors for us to travel to Spain together this summer. Above all things, our passion and drive in life is the gospel of Jesus Christ. In this beautiful, true story of God’s redeeming plan through Christ-there is hope for the entire world. We must never forget that this is at the center of what we do. GOD reconciled us (vile humanity!) to Himself! Though we deserve to spend life and death without Him, He made a way for us to be with him. We can find absolute joy, total fulfillment, and perfect love in relationship with him. How can we keep this to ourselves?

People in Spain, just like people here in Lancaster, are missing out on this incredible opportunity. Their pasts are full of heartache -with no one to heal their scars. Their lives are full of empty pleasures-with no one offering true satisfaction. Their futures are destined to be ultimately purposeless and painful-with no one to give them hope.

Team-we know the Great Healer.

We know the One who made the human heart and can satisfy it.

We know the Author and Creator of Hope.

I understand that it is a daunting task, in our finite minds, to raise $2,900 each (though this is merely chump change to our God!). I understand it is uncomfortable to ask people for money (though they get to partner with us in the furtherance of the gospel-what a gift for them!). I understand it is scary to travel to a land where we don’t know the language (yet :)) and are strangers. But we do not do this, or ask for support, for ourselves, for our gain-but for something much greater than ourselves.

So that missionaries in Spain are revitalized and strengthened to speak boldly and often-we give up 2 weeks of our summer and travel thousands of miles.

So that more Spaniards will know that through grace alone there is salvation-we raise support.

So that more Spaniards will hear the truth that God is all satisfying, perfectly just, and incredibly merciful-we pray steadfastly.

Team, can you make it a point to pray every day for this trip? Some days may be short, some days I hope are long-but please pray. Pray for the Tempeltons and the 200,000 Christians in Spain. Pray for the 47 million in Spain who today destined for a Godless eternity in hell. Pray for our team. Pray for our givers and senders. Pray for our churches. Pray that when we return-the Lord will use us to inspire others (or ourselves) to go and serve and proclaim Him in Europe.

Also, do not wait for Spain to start sharing the gospel with boldness. Start now. If you don’t do it here-you certainly won’t be prepared to do it there.

Prayerful and Excited,

Betty

“The gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.” Timothy Keller

This Bible verse reminds me of the song "That The World May Know" by Central Worship in Mt. Vernon!

"May we be faithful followers of Christ, examples of righteousness, thus becoming lights in the world." -Thomas S. Monson

Also, as a side note-I downloaded (for FREE!) the app “Memrise” on my phone to help me learn (and re-learn) some Spanish. It’s awesome!  They use quite a few different methods of memorization and mnemonic devices to help vocabulary stick! I also subscribe to this youtube channel and listen to it while I run sometimes! 

I am excited to keep you updated on all that the Lord does during our trip to Spain. Who knows the amazing things He may have in store?! Thank you for journeying with me 🙂