Our family was blessed with successful travel back to Spain on May 28th. We are thankful for the lift and send-off that we got from the Barker and Valencia families who provided door to door transportation to LAX. We feel that after years of tinkering with flights and airlines, we had a pretty ideal experience, too, flying at 6pm on a Sunday from LAX direct to Madrid. Like any Transatlantic flights with a 1-year-old and a 5-year-old, it had its challenges, but we were thankful for the new indoor park areas and children’s play room at the Barajas Airport in Madrid.
On Monday night, May 29th we and all our bags made it to Sevilla Airport. Our co-worker Frank picked us up and helped us get around in our first 2 days back in Sevilla. During our first days back we were very surprised how many old friends and contacts that we got to see around Puebla del Rio. Yani, Manoli, Chary and Salud, some of our dear old friends cooked for us so we never went hungry. During our days back in Puebla, JD was able to get our van up and out of the parking garage where it had been parked since last August.
New Horizons! Our temporary housing was available for our family on June 1st, so that afternoon we loaded up our van with our suitcases and started off for our new life in Campo de Gibraltar. This week here has been busy lots of firsts and business as we have had lots of calls, appointments and meetings down here as we house-hunt, do our Spanish taxes, and meet with local pastors.
On June 5th JD got to attend the last Campo de Gibraltar Pastor’s Meeting, before summer recess. It was a special time of being prayed for, edification from other pastors in the region, and making great new friends. One pastor already called us with info to help us with a lead in our house-hunt! So please continue to pray, because your prayers seem to be working! We do still need those prayers though, as we are still trying to find a place where we can see ourselves living for the next several years.
Castle of the Count. Today, after a busy morning of business, we took a siesta-hour drive up into the Alcornocales Nature Park to see the Castle of the Counts of Castellar, in Spanish: Alcazar de los Condes de Castellar. The walled town, which was reconquered by the Spanish from the Muslim Moors in 1434, lies atop a mountain peak overlooking the Guadarranque Lake. Her inhabitants were called strong and wonderful by Spain’s King Juan III centuries ago, but the town is now barely inhabited as the townsfolk were given a new Castellar (Pueblo Nuevo de Castellar) in 1971, as living on a mountain peak was getting difficult. The walled city is now mostly inhabited by innkeepers, hippies and vacationing writers (a-chem). The castle was closed sadly, but part of it is run today as a hotel. The castle’s defenses afford views of the Pillars of Hercules, the Rock of Gibraltar, the Strait, and the African peaks and Atlas Mountains of Morocco. The actual streets are remarkably preserved from medieval times, but if you ask my wife what she remembers, well, a picture tells a thousand words. The whole old city was plagued by gnats and mosquitos. I was trying to pose our family like they were having a good time for a picture, but Sarah Ruth went running for her life from all the swarm of mosquitos!
Until next time,
All our love from Campo de Gibraltar,
JD for the Bennett family.