A Final Update from Spain

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I asked our missionary/host/friend, Jon Tempelton, to write a final word on our trip. This is what he had to say 🙂

“Today we reach the final day of the trip and the nostalgia is already creeping in. In only a few hours the team boards their plane headed home. As I reflect back on the last ten days I feel we has fulfilled our threefold purpose of our missions trip.

We were all encouraged spiritually. The funny thing is I anticipated this being in one direction. Meaning our missions team would point the Journey Team towards our Savior and encourage them to be more like him in the power of the Gospel. But I found myself being encouraged and refreshed by their walk with Christ and growth in him.

We also anticipated them being pushed out of their comfort zone. We had lots of fun with this. They had to purchase a drink at a coffee shop, gather groceries at the market, sit through a catholic mas, and more. Of course this all had to be done in a different language. This enabled us to talk about what missionaries experience going into a new culture, while at the same time comprehend how our wonderful community functions.

And finally we wanted them to gain a greater perspective of the need of the Gospel in our community. They did this by serving our community, serving us, and so serve our Savior.

I was thrilled to watch as friendships were quickly forged. I pray and ask that you, reader, will join me in praying that the Gospel will traverse this relational bridge.”

Thank you readers, prayer warriors, caring friends, family, and strangers-for your encouragement, support, and love that we experienced during our adventure to Spain. We were so greatly blessed by our time with the Tempeltons, and hope that you were encouraged by all you read and saw.

For His Name’s Sake,

Betty & the Team

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

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!

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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!

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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!