Thank you for joining us in prayer. You can help this month by praying for the following:
· Prayers for financial covering for the ministry and work we do. We are grateful for the many ways that we have seen God’s provision in the past month and for those who have stepped up to help.
· Pray for our family as we step in to new leadership roles and learn to navigate new responsibilities alongside our local work and international outreach. Pray for us to find healthy rhythms and ways to stay strong as a family amidst lots of change.
· Pray for Sarah as she works toward finishing this semester and taking finals. It has been the toughest course load yet, but she is hanging in there and working hard.
· Pray for the people at La Mesa Turquesa. Many are spending their first holiday season away from family and friends, in a new country with new customs. Pray for them to feel loved by our team and to find “home” in our center.
· Pray for us as we weather another round of big family holidays away from our boys. Thanksgiving and Christmas are always hard on us, each in our own way. It doesn’t seem to matter how many years we are overseas, it never gets easier to be apart on these big holidays.
· Praises for the people and groups that found extra ways to help with the economic struggles of the ministry last month! People hosted bake sales and fundraising dinners and passed the collection plate for special donations for La Mesa Turquesa and for our family. Thank you so much!!!!!!!
· Praises for heat!!!! We were able to fix our chimney and fireplace this month!!! We haven’t had heat for 2 years! We are now cozy and warm with our working fireplace!
We are thankful for all of the amazing teammates we have serving alongside us in this work! Although many of them will never actually walk on the soil of Spain or any of the other places where our team serves, they are ALL a HUGE part of sharing the love of Christ with the world! Without these incredible, faithful superheroes, we could not serve the people that benefit from this ministry. Thank you to all who have stood beside us in 2019!!! We are proud to have you on our team!
Aldersgate UMC, Chuck and Julie, Phillip and Peggy, David and Jeanne, Roberto, Jeanne, Bernie and Paula, Brandon and Cathy, Jackie and Susan, Scott and Cynthia, Shannon and David, Doyle and Sara, Ambrose and Doreene, Nancy, Jerry and Connie, Gerald and Robyn, Myra, Steve and Ann, Neel and Lisa, Trey and Meg, J. K., Bryan First UMC Adult Bible Study Sunday School, Adam and Dana, Kim and Glenda, Leon and Dana, Sharon, Tracy, Christ United Methodist Church, David and Joanne, Norman, Kathleen, Connie, Leroy and Wanda, Bob and Deborah, Richard and Claire, Allen, David and Jayne, Thomas and Karen, Covenant UMC, Homebuilders Class CUMC, Chris and Randi, James and Cathy, Mark, Jeffrey and Laura, Dripping Springs UMC, Deryl and Ann, Mike and Debby, Jeff and Kristin, Sue, Rick and Dianne, Dean, Jim and Cheryl, Kirk and Regina, Frank and Carol, Dan and Shari, Sam and Carol, Mike and Teresa, Faith and Deeds Class CUMC, Jennifer, Dennis and Katey, Sharon, Louis and Sherry, Don and Barbara, Paul and Kim, Stephen and Marty, LeGrande and Ann, Mark and Liz, Dianna, Jeri, Lee, Steve and Janis, Andrew and Ange, Bill and Komang, Patricia, Jerome and Lana, Mick and Jane, Gary and Gwen, Jim and Charlotte, Don, Jack and Cindy, Ray and Margaret, Scott and Donna, Totsy, Charlie and Gwen, Paul and Sharon, Susan, Wes and Beverly, Nancy, Rob and Shannon, Vern, Royce and Mary, Mike and Janet, Chris, Walter and Cindy, Richard and Ginger, Frank and Tami, David and Diane, Ronnie, Linda, Tom and Sherry, Aaron, Larry and Carol, Bill, Tom and Susan, Bobbie, Terry and Karen, Heath and Jo, Wilson and Julie, Harry and Judy, Jim and Dianne, Josh and Amanda, Irene, Janet, Redith, Averyt and Randi, Hank and Liz, Chris and Susan, Deborah, Ferrel and Sue, Dan and Kim, Jim and Cathy, Larry and Gail, David and Glenda, Eddie and Denise, Chuck, Dale and Kathy, John and Nan, Bill and Carol, Marilyn and Ernie, Fred and Allison, David and Jana, Tommy and Donna, Cliff and Sonia, Sally, John and Lisa, Bill and Jackie, Garner and Coece, Gail, Chris and Angela, Midge and Betty, Maretta, Matt and Terri, John and Shelaine, Kris, Cindy, Dave and Donna, Peggy, Richard and Becky, Don and Candy, Ron and Amanda, John, Buzz and Katy, Rob and Rhonda, Raymond James Financial, Inc., Kelli and Jim, David and Susan, James and Sheila, Barbara, Don and Lynita, Jim and Vergie, Ronald and Pam, Darwin and Charney, Sanctuary Class CUMC, Michael and Jeremie, Polli, Richard and Beverly, Hendrik and Cindee, Neal and Lois, Bob and Suzanne, Leah, Shiro Presbyterian Church, Alan and Jennifer, Nancy, Ross and Donna, Aaron and Megan, Brian, David and Jamie, Forest and Kelly, Harold and Rebecca, Johnny and Courtney, Ronald and Priscilla, Sondra, Trudie, St. Lukes UMC, Ken and Carolyn, Michael, Judy and Ralph, Sid and Vicki, Randy and Kim, Jim and Ginnie, Jim and Lynne, Carol, Les and Debby, Tommie and Ashley, Greg and Cathy, Tom and Linda, John and Linda, Andrew and Shelley, John and Barbara, Shelly and Kevin, Trinity Lutheran Church, Walter and Cindy, United Methodist Women Lafayette, Andy and Susan, Steve and Sue, Tom and Annette, Jim and Cindy, Jon and Michelle, Todd and Linda, William and Tracy, Erwin and Susan, Roger and Anna, Wheelock Methodist Church, Glinn and Marlilyn, Jim and Paulette, Michelle and Ken, Jim and Phyllis, Dick and Linda, Gerald and Shirley, Chad and Darla, Pascual
The Paradox of Christmas in Spain
We are headed in to the Christmas season in Spain. Christmas continues to be a paradox for us… both wonderful and also a little painful. No matter how long we are out of our home culture, it seems that holidays always hit us hard.
We miss the customs from our church and family back home… the Hanging of the Greens service, the advent candles, the Christmas carols, and the live nativity scenes. In stark contrast, our church in Spain has no Christmas decorations in the sanctuary, no singing of Christmas carols each week, and they do not celebrate the season of advent. There will be no Christmas Eve service, no nativity scene, and no candles for singing Silent Night. Someone a long time ago came in and taught some of the protestant churches that they shouldn’t do anything that the catholic church does, so, sadly, a lot of church traditions became taboo. That is the case in our particular town.
Sometimes, history causes a lot of pain, misunderstanding, and division. Ugh. And no matter how you try to explain or change things, traditions and culture run deep. Truth be told, it's just not ours to change. *sigh* Therefore, we try to carry on with our own customs and culture and do those special things that we love within our own home. We have our tree and our carols and our advent candles. We have our nativity scenes depicting the birth of Jesus.
Yet, a part of me longs for my home church in Texas. I long to be sitting behind the pew of The Evans Family watching little Taylor almost catch everyone on fire with her candle. I long for a sanctuary filled with poinsettias and people singing Christmas hymns. I remember the days of too many Christmas parties and school programs and concerts and decorations. Of Secret Santa and cookie exchanges and crazy Christmas sweaters and driving around to see the lights in town.
Christmas Eve will still be hard for us, because there is something special about standing and singing Silent Night with your church family and holding that candle and being with family and friends. It's a paradox... it will still be Christmas and we will still celebrate the birth of Jesus. It will be beautiful, and also difficult.
Enjoy those traditions and hold them in your heart! Merry Christmas!
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!