Even thought you live 5000+ miles away, you can be involved in ministry outreach and serving in Spain! Yes, you heard me right! You can be a member of our team and make a difference in the lives of people from Syria and Venezuela, from Algeria and Georgia and Spain, from Poland and Pakistan and Nigeria and Morocco and more. And you can do it all right there from your own community!
1. Share the News! Every time you get a newsletter or an email update from us, share it! You can share it on social media or share a story from the newsletter with a friend. You can take this paper copy and share it with your office, or read a portion of it aloud in your bible study or Sunday school class. You can use our blog posts and share with friends and family. There are great things happening in Spain, and everyone wants to hear good news! So share it!
2. Become a Fundraising Superhero… Fundraising doesn’t have to be a dark and scary word that brings images of expensive trinkets you don’t want, being sold by precious peanut butter covered neighbor children. It can be as simple as a Sunday school bake sale or a “Give it Up” campaign (challenge friends to “give up” their Starbucks for a week or eating out for a month, etc. and donate the cost to La Mesa or The Drum’s ministry in Spain). Google “easy fundraisers” for a million other simple ideas.
3. Turquoise is the New Black… This is actually a fundraising idea AND an informational outreach rolled in to one. How about setting up a table at your next church Wednesday night meal or on Sunday morning before church / Sunday school. Decorate everything in turquoise - tablecloth, napkins, etc. and wear turquoise clothes. Have turquoise iced cupcakes, cookies with turquoise chocolate chips or frosting, coffee or punch in turquoise cups… so many options! Don’t forget to have information about La Mesa Turquesa ministry available and be ready to share stories! Set up a donations jar and voila! You are now a Turquoise Superhero!
4. Prayer is Powerful… We believe in prayer! Please pray for La Mesa Turquesa and the ministry in Spain. Please pray for specific stories and specific events by name (you can read about them here in the newsletter or on our Facebook page). Please share La Mesa and our family during prayer requests in your bible study or small group or Sunday School. Print out a photo from La Mesa Turquesa (get one from our Facebook posts) and put it somewhere you will see it everyday… in the kitchen or in your car or on the bathroom mirror. Every time you see the photo, pray for the people who are touched by this ministry every day.
5. Hero of the Month… Join our Monthly Hero Club! Every month, normal every day people partner with us by giving financially to keep this ministry going. Some give $10, $25, $50 per month, and some give more. These folks are our heroes! You can give online at https://www.tms-global.org/give . Just follow the instructions. When you click the “recurring giving” option, you will join the Monthly Heroes! (Mail-in options are also available)
You can do it! We have faith in you! You can become a Superhero for Ministry in Spain!!!
It’s a normal Friday evening and the doors of La Mesa Turquesa community center are open. The room is full of people and of laughter. Tea is poured, coffee is brewing, and various cookies and sweet treats are on platters on the giant turquoise table that is the centerpiece of the room. The table is crowded tonight and every chair in the center is full.
There is a group of teens playing Uno at one end of the table. All are immigrants to Spain. One is from Poland, one from England, one from Brazil, and one from the USA (Sarah). Two of them are recent transplants within the last two months. Just a few weeks ago, they started a new school year in a new country - no friends and no Spanish, no one to sit with at recess, no one to make plans with on the weekend. Sarah invited them to hang out at La Mesa Turquesa and play games, meet other immigrants and community members, and just relax and have fun. Their language skills are slowly improving, and they are bonding to each other and to the center. Watching them laugh together as they play games is heartwarming. Building community and friendships… this is why we are here.
There are two women who join the teen’s Uno game. They sport full head-coverings (hijab), as is customary in their cultures. *Nahla only recently came to Spain and still speaks very little Spanish. Timid and embarrassed by her language skills, she would never respond to invitations to come to the center. That was until our friend *Amira went to here. Amira is from the same country as Nahla and speaks her native Arabic. Amira began bringing Nahla to La Mesa in September. Little by little, Nahla has begun to open up and relax and enjoy the community in the center. She regularly thanks us for having the center and for inviting her. Just yesterday, she threw her arms around me and gave me a huge hug and said, “Te Quiero” (I love you). This morning, she saw me on the street in town and ran to hug me. Feeling welcome and loved… this is why we are here.
At the other end of the table, a rousing game of cards is happening. I’m not sure what the name of the card game is. *Oumar is teaching everyone how to play a popular game from his native Burkina Faso – a war-torn country in western Africa. Also playing are *Shayla (Venezuela),*Ami (Ghana), and Billy. Lots of laughter happening at that end of the table as they try to understand Oumar and the rules of the game. Laughter… this is why we are here.
Sitting on a sofa off to the side is *Hassan (Syria). He comes in each day to practice Spanish and use the free internet the La Mesa provides. He makes himself at home when he arrives each day, going straight to the coffee and tea bar and making himself a warm drink and picking up a couple of soft cookies. He speaks some English, so we have conversations in both English and his new Spanish. Hassan is a survivor. His body bears witness to the unspeakable things that have happened to him over the past couple of years. Most of his family did not make it out alive. Today, he is glued to the news as he watches the unfolding events of more war and a Turkish invasion in his native homeland. He isn’t interested in games today. He just needs a place to be connected and a place that feels safe when his homeland is not. He needs comfort. This is why we are here.
There is a deeply intense game of chess happening at a small side table between Ryan and *Jack (England). Another side table is rolling dice and moving Parchisi pieces around the board and playfully arguing about which country’s game rules they are following, because each country seems to have different rules for the same game. Puerto Rico and Slovenia and Spain and Georgia are all battling it out for game board domination. Kat and I are playing with children and holding babies so their parents can enjoy a couple of hours of adult conversation and fun. The youngest in the room tonight are 6-month old twins, born here in Spain after their mother fled political unrest in her country to protect her unborn babies a year ago. Suddenly, a cake arrives, and everyone erupts in an impromptu singing of Happy Birthday for a young man from Brazil who is turning 19 today. A small birthday party spontaneously ensues, and everyone shares in cake and festivities. Several versions of birthday songs are sung in various languages.
As I look around the room and scan the faces, I reflect on their stories. Each one comes to the table with their own tales, their own difficulties and heartbreak and struggles. But tonight, for these few hours, they are safe and warm and with “family”. They are known and cared for and loved. They are ‘at home’ at La Mesa Turquesa. Home… that is why we are here!
Spoons and aprons and baking pans in hand, these kitchen superheroes are swooping in and doing their part to save the day and change the world!
St. Luke’s UMC (Bryan, Texas) held a bake sale to benefit La Mesa Turquesa community center on September 29th. Led by Kristin and Jeff Dungan, this group of baking wonders filled tables with goodies and shared the stories that happen around our turquoise table in Spain. In the end, they raised enough to cover expenses for one month of La Mesa Turquesa’s ministry! A giant thank you to all who mixed and rolled and stirred and baked (and ATE!)!!!
Coming soon… In Novemeber, the Kitchen Superheroes from the Faith and Deeds Sunday School class at Christ UMC will be holding a Benefit Potluck for La Mesa Turquesa! We look forward to seeing photos and hearing all about how these Super Chefs rise to the occasion and save the day, one spoon at a time!
In my USA life, I was a teacher in Texas for 15 years. I was also a professional photographer, a soccer mom, a horsewoman, and the neighborhood hospitality queen. I did "Joanna Gaines farmhouse style" before Chip and JoJo were even a thing - we restored an 1884 Victorian farmhouse in small town Texas and did shiplap walls until I thought I'd go crazy. I taught at NASA, scuba dived with astronauts in training, and studied animals at Sea World for educational purposes. I've tried just about everything, because I have an insatiable need to know if I can do it! Never underestimate a Texas girl in cowboy boots!
In 2006, my husband Billy and I became cross-cultural workers (CCWs) with TMS Global. For five years, we served in three rural Quechua Wanca villages in the Andes of Peru. And when I say rural, I mean RURAL - like no potty! I spent my days in Peru learning to live a Quechua lifestyle in a rustic adobe house - cooking Peruvian foods, sewing with Quechua women, raising my chickens and goats and pigs, and planting my gardens. Now I live my life in small town Spain, serving other cross-cultural workers via teaching and training and care, and helping displaced people to navigate their new reality in Europe.
I'm passionate about fostering personal growth, growth in community, and growth in The Kingdom. Walking alongside others and helping them to use their unique design, their gifts and strengths and maximize their abilities to fulfill their God-given purpose - that's what makes my heart sing!