Well this week has loaded me with witnessing opportunities, leaving me very thankful this Thanksgiving week. I got to share my faith thoroughly on long bus and train rides, as I made my way from the Southern end of Spain up to my sister’s house in Northern Spain. I sat next to friendly Spaniards with a willing ear to listen. They asked me “grand slam” questions as a missionary in Spain, like “How are you sure that you are going to Heaven?” “How are you sure there is Heaven and Hell?” “What is the difference between Evangelical Christians and Catholic Christians?” My first bus ride from Sevilla to Madrid was seven hours (8am-3pm), so I got to have great deep discussions with the people I sat next to, and I can’t help but thinking God put people next to me who were searching and wanted these kinds of conversations. I was able to encourage a 50 year old woman who cried as she opened up to me that her husband of 26 years, is leaving her for a younger woman. I got to give her some words of encouragement while being sensitive to her pain. When she was feeling better a few minutes later, she chatted happily about how good it is that I was a Bible student, and she said it is a pity that more Spanish youth don’t know the Bible, especially since they are all “baptized as Christian babies”. She asked differences between the Evangelicals and Catholics, and I said for one, I, as a clergyman, can marry, which she said is far better. She said no man can be celibate 80 years, I jokingly said it was hard waiting 29 and she laughed a lot, realizing I’m waiting until I marry Sara. We had already talked about my wedding in hours before on the bus ride. She also liked that we believe in baptizing after someone has repented of their sins and become a professing Christian. I told her all she needs to go to Heaven was to believe that God sent Jesus to pay for everything, and she nodded seriously, like she believed that. Praise God for these “appointments” He gives me to be a light!
Besides Spaniards, I got to talk to a refugee for Ghana and later a whole family from Ghana. It was amazing how open they were to talking about spiritual things. I have seen this so many times with Sub-Saharan Africans, a real interest in the spiritual and in Jesus. I pray Spaniards will become that way one day! It would make church planting in Spain much easier!
Finally, I got to practice Friday with the Puebla Basketball Team I belong to now. I got to carpool with my neighbor and teammates on Saturday to my basketball game in CajaSol Arena in Sevilla. All these little team activities are bonding, as we joke and high-five and huddle during games. Even though I just joined the team the other week, so I’m a late-comer compared to guys who have been practicing together since summer, they still gave me a little playing time. More important than that, is that I’m bonding with my teammates who are similar in age and interest to me, we are (almost) all basketball players in our 20’s. I’m so grateful for this “in” in Puebla society! The Captain/coach has attended one of our praise-team practices, as he’s a friend of our pastor’s son, Jonathon, who plays on the team with me. He has been very respectful to me and kind to me, and invited me to join the city team, which has been one of my best ways to befriend local non-Christians.
By the way, Thanksgiving wasn’t too bad either!
What a yummy day we had together in Lisa’s bodega in her old stone house in Artajona! Dan & Anelise made amazing pie after pie, and everything turned out great! During my 3 night stay I got the lovely chance to play with my nephews and do some baby-sitting and dog walking with them. I also got to talk with my nieces, with Aida at the Sports center where we were waiting for her swim practice to start, as it starts an hour after we drop off Andrew. After Aida left, then Andrew got out and came to visit with his Uncle JD. I’m so grateful for my nieces and nephews, who are growing up very fast!
Thankyou for praying for Lisa and Dan. They are strong as always. Lisa got the scan results on Wednesday showing, thankfully, that the cancer is right now contained, so though it is there, the chemo-therpay is at least preventing it’s expansion. Please pray for God to heal Lisa, so that she can raise her 5 children. I’m praying that God will give Lisa a long life. I’m also praying that she can attend my wedding in San Diego in April, she really wants to.
I got to meet a very neat missionary couple, Ben & Elena Kerns, who make videos. They made several YouTube of our camp & theatre ministry, that I had never seen before. Both Ben and I worked on Prince Caspian Theatre camp, Ben making great videos and me adapting the book into a script. You can see the videos on my Facebook Wall.
That is all, as you were.