Update from Spain: Day Four

Wow! I think today was one of my favorite days of the trips so far.  We were able to meet and interact with a lot of wonderful spaniards today, in a lot of different ways.

Jon is volunteering at an addictions rehab center, and we went first to hear about the establishment and the (amazing!) work that it is doing in the community with addicts of all kinds. Unfortunately, from our perspective, it is not the best it can be, because they don’t incorporate faith in Jesus at all into their teaching. Good thing God has given Jon an open door there!

After the low-down, we spent the afternoon hanging out with the people of the rehab center. We made and ate lunch, played futbal and frisbee, and took a walk/hike/run of about 4 kilometers.  Later that night we went out with 2 other Spanish adults, and 3 Spanish teenagers to different “bars” and ordered nonalcoholic drinks and were served [FREE] appetizers. This is a very common evening activity to do in Spain, and after doing it and having such a blast, we can see why. The appetizer things (tapas) served to us were all sorts of foods-some of which we’ve had before (calamari, bread, mussels) and others which we had never had (pig ears (see below), and a bunch that I don’t know what they were called :))

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The conversations today, despite some language barriers, were highlights for sure! We’ve found that the Spaniards we have been able to talk to, are very open about their faith (or more correctly, about their unbelief) and are very willing to kindly listen about our passion-the God of the Bible.

I could type SO much more about today-but it’s late, and I am eager to sleep. Also, we are waking up very early tomorrow for a nice 3 hour hike up a mountain :). I am sorry if this is a bit disheveled; I blame the late hour!

Please continue to pray for good health, and encouragement to our team and to the missionaries we came here to support. Also pray for good conversations and relationships to grow for the Tempeltons and our team.

Update from Spain: Day 2

Update From España: Dia Dos

This morning, we enjoyed Sunday morning worship.

After breakfast, Jon drove us to Seth’s home, his co-leader, and we had church house-church style. First, Seth lead worship and Jon gave the sermon to their kids, similar to Sunday school. Then, they lead a discussion-based teaching on Luke 10 (Lucas 10) and ended with corporate worship in English and Spanish.

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By the early afternoon, the team ate lunch. We shared laughs and witty remarks. Crystal, Seth’s wife, blessed us with a filling meal. After lunch, we had a sweet desert called Flan. The team put their hands behind their backs and ate this pastry with our mouths only. It was a sight to see. In fact, I will put a short video clip up on my next blog post, featuring Jeremy Mueller.

After hanging with Seth and Crystal, we drove to Molinaseca, a quaint, charming town. A local friend of Jon and Lorena, Tere, went along with us to practice her english. We walked around the area as a group. Jon shared historical facts and culture perks. The town looks like something you would see in a Disney movie. It has a modern, European look. Nate and I would fan-girl over the narrow streets and old-fashion buildings. We visited a few local shops and took some group photos.

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In Molinaseca, we also visited two Catholic churches, a popular bridge, and a bed and breakfast called “Casa San Nicolas” (House of St. Nicholas). Jon explained that the Catholic church is starting to lose its touch even though it retains a lot of its influential political power. At one of the bridges, we learned about a unique tradition: the natives would block off the river and let it flood so that the kids could play in the water.

The bed and breakfast is the event that brought the most joy. We had coffee and cake with a lovely couple that are good friends with the Tempelton’s. Also, we met another guy, Josue, who was fluent in three languages: French, Spanish, and Portuguese. He told us a short story about the word “Obrigado.” In the 15th century, Portugal and Japan would trade together. When the Portuguese would end a deal or leave Japan, he or she would say it. It is similar to saying thank you, except it actually means “I owe you one” (or “I am obligated to serve you again”). The Japanese adopted the word as their own. It has the same spelling but it is said differently by both countries.

We are having a blast across the Atlantic. Continue to pray for the following:

  • Jetlag recovery (especially for Chris Crosdale :))
  • Lorena, Jon’s wife
  • Opportunities to building relationships with Spaniards
  • God’s strength and guidance

 

Cuídate,

 

Chris from the Team

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Update from Spain: Day One

Our flights landed in Madrid early this morning, where our missionary (and now friend) Jon Tempelton picked us up. Fortunately, most of us were able to grab some very delicious”cafe con leche” in the airport before packing into the 9 passenger van. Spain’s coffee es muy deliciouso!

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Many of the team only got a few hours of sleep on the overnight flight before, and the battle with jet lag during the 4+ hour drive to Jon’s home was a tough one. We will all sleep VERY well tonight.

During the drive, and during a short “orientation time” at his home Jon taught us a bit about the Spanish culture we were now absorbed in. He told the ladies to always expect 2 kisses when meeting gentlemen, that coffee shops are called bars (it’s funny to hear his 4 year old daughter tell us how much she loves it when daddy takes her to bars!) , and to not believe all the stereotypes you believe about Spaniards. He also articulated the importance of not being time driven, and how their relationship culture has an unwritten “no anxiety” policy. He told us about how he became passionate about Spain-the least evangelized Spanish speaking country in the world, and about the ministry opportunities God has been giving his team.

After meeting Lorena, and getting settled into their home, we walked around the town, interacting with the locals, and enjoying the PERFECT weather.

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Around 8:00 we had a dinner of cheese, tuna-vegetable-potato salad goodness, tomatoes, and chocolate chip cookies :). We cleaned up together and spent more time hearing from and encouraging Jon and Lorena before heading to bed. Tomorrow we will join them and their other 2 team members for “house church”, as they are seeking to start a church plant in their town of 80,000+.  We will also listen to a lecture on cultural acquisition and tour the city of Molinaseca. While sight seeing our team will be not only looking for opportunities to interact with Spaniards, to help Jon and his team in building relationships, be we also will be striving to see deeper things than surface level observations about the culture. Knowing these deeper aspects of their culture is what will help us understand how to best spiritually engage spaniards with the glorious news of the gospel.

Please pray for our team to quickly recover from jetlag so as to most effectively interact with the Tempeltons and their friends with the gospel. Pray for good conversations with the many unsaved people we are going to meet and hang out with. Pray we deeply encourage and bless Jon & his team!

Gracias!

Betty, for the Team 🙂

Headed to Spain: Meet the Team!

I can hardly believe it! It’s finally here!  Tomorrow I, with a team of 6 others, board a plan to Spain to visit, encourage and help missionaries in Ponferrada!

For those of you who will be keeping tabs on the trip, I thought it’d be nice to introduce to you the group I am going with! I (with guest team bloggers) will be posting daily, and now you’ll have names and faces to go along with all the stories we’ll be telling 🙂

First up- Jon & Lorena Templeton: This is the missionary family with whom we will be staying with in Spain. They both grew up as MK’s, in Spanish speaking countries, came to the states for seminary, and now serve with Baptist Mid-Missions. Check their website out for more wonderful details!

Jon and Lorena

Next on the team, we have Dr. Mark Farnham.  Mark has his PhD in apologetics, taught Jon and Lorena in seminary, currently works at Lancaster Bible College in the Pastoral Ministry Department, and is a passionate, brilliant, humorous man! He has organized this entire trip, and has lead & developed the team marvelously. Unfortunately for us, some serious, last minute family health concerns has caused him to not be able to travel with us to Spain. As heartbroken as we are, we know that we serve and trust a good and sovereign King who has everything under control.

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Next we have Jeremy & Svatia Mueller. These two strong, brilliant, hysterical people are passionate about missions and youths and are going to be wonderful additions to our team! Jeremy is an LBC grad, and is starting his second year of seminary at Gordon-Conwell in the fall! Svatia is from the Czech Republic and met (and fell in love with) her now husband through serving at English Summer Camps together. She is a spitfire, and I am pumped to have them both with us on this trip!

Jeremy and Svatia

Next up we have Nathan Staherski, an Education Major at LBC. We are fortunate to have him on this trip for many reasons, one of which is the fact that being from Costa Rico means that he is fluent in Spanish! I for one, am very excited to have him be able to interact and communicate with the unsaved Spaniards in ways that the rest of us are simply not as equipped to. What a blessing that’ll be!

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Next up we have Chris Crosdale-a recent graduate from LBC from our Communication Department. To know Chris is to love him! He is encouraging, creative, fun, and insightful! Check out his newly launched website to see some of that displayed on your computer screen!

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Next up, is Mr. Garrett Plitt-a hard working, and responsible young man studying to be a pastor at LBC. Garrett has been looking forward to this trip for over a year now, as he committed go going last fall! This will be his first time out of the country, and I am excited to see how God uses this trip to shape his ministry in the future!

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Our last team member is Kiersten Hatch, a freshman studying counseling at LBC. I have been so incredibly impressed with this young woman’s work ethic, depth of mind and spirit, and vivaciousness for life and the people of Spain. She has, with gusto, been practicing her Spanish every chance she gets, and is going to be an incredible part of this journey, of this I am sure!

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Oh, and there is me, of course! I feel like if you’re reading this blog, you probably already know me…but just in case, hi my name is Betty Pompell! I’m the one with the amazing opportunity to lead this team of young people to Spain. I get to be the one who encourages them and processes the events of each day with them, and I am so blessed to be going! My day job is doing a similar thing, but instead of with a team to Spain, it’s normally with middle school and high school girls in Pequea Valley. Feel free to read about it here or here!

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Thanks for your care, prayer, and support! We are beyond excited for this trip! Please pray for our preparation time, and our travels the next two days.  We look forward to updating you soon! 🙂 Soli Deo Gloria!

A Little Update on My Summer Plans

A few months ago, I was approached with the opportunity to travel to Spain with a team from Lancaster Bible College for the summer. Unfortunately, we had a late start on fundraising and didn’t meet our pre-set financial goals. Because of this, the trip was canceled, and I was questioning why God chooses to shut some doors-though they would lead to really great places. I told my team that we must trust God and know that He has plans for every yes and every no.

Just 4 days after the trip’s official cancellation I received a Facebook message from the coordinator of the English Camp in Germany I’ve worked at the past 2 summers. Even though I had already told her I wouldn’t be able to come, my name “just so happened” to have just come up in a recent conversation with the Camp Director. So she asked, “Could you come for one week and teach the main session for 5 nights at the Camp?”

Me?  Return to Germany?  Speak at the night sessions?

What a gift from God! I was floored by the timing and my the opportunity! After some prayer, I joyfully concluded that I’ll be returning back to the junior high/high school students that I love to speak to them about the Gospel! The camp’s theme this year is ONE and each day has a specific theme as well: One God, One Passion, One Savior, One Decision, One Life, and One Church. I have the terrifying, wonderful privilege to speak on each subject. I’ll be preparing the lessons in the coming weeks leading up to the trip and would VERY MUCH appreciate your prayers in my preparation and in the student’s reception of truths from Scripture.

The Lord also has graciously provided a traveling companion in the form of my dear friend, and missionary-to-be, Christina McLaughlin. She will be helping at the camp in whatever ways they need her and then also blessing me by recording my lessons each night! I can put the videos up online and perhaps reach even more German/Americans if God chooses to use me in that way.

The cost is very minimal. Flights and a few travel expenses only totalled about $1,260 each. If you would like to support financially, that’d be great! I’d be happy to show you my spreadsheet! 😉 If you would like to support us through prayers-that’d be even better! You can follow my blog bettycatherine.wordpress.com and Christina’s betweentheleatherbindings.blogspot.com for updates throughout our time in Germany.

I am beyond excited for this opportunity to share God’s truths with the youth of Germany. Join with me in praying that through the power of the Holy Spirit, young lives are changed to love God’s words more deeply, cling to His promises more closely, and share His truths more boldly.

You know, there are things in our lives that are GREAT things, that God chooses to cut out for reasons only He knows of. Our job is to trust Him with that circumstance, and praise Him whether He shows us why or not. God cut the Spain trip out of my summer, and He graciously provided something else 4 days later! It doesn’t always (or even often!) work out like that-but I’m thankful it did! I trust that He has PLENTY of reasons why (though a good thing) Spain is not where I was supposed to travel this summer, and Germany definitely is. Maybe He’ll reveal more of the answers to my “why questions” and maybe He won’t. Either way-He is to be praised for orchestrating all these details of my life, and for always doing what is best for my life to bring Him glory!

As always, thanks for reading! 🙂