"In June, Jen, Vivienne, and I, went to Spain with a group from the church. We were there to help a local church in a town called Vilafranca, near Barcelona. Our role was to help put on an English camp for kids at the church and in the community.
Part of the goal of the English camp was to legitimize the church in the community. To give a bit of context, the main religion in Spain is Catholicism, but most people do not actually believe. They just go for weddings and funerals for cultural reasons. The Evangelical church is actually seen as a kind of cult. So the point of doing the English camp is to get people to see the church as an okay place where normal people go.
Since it was our first missions trip with Vivienne, I was a little worried about how she would do. But when we got there, it was so great to see how well all the kids treated her. She fit right into our class of 4-6 year olds, participating and helping out in the classroom. She especially liked Rafa, who picked us up from the airport. Even now, she sometimes tells me that she misses Rafa and wants to go back to Spain. We do hope to go back in the future and continue to develop our relationships with the people there."
"Some of the most common questions I’ve been asked about our missions trip to Spain have been: “What was your biggest takeaway? How has the experience changed your life since returning home?” And the answer for me was their hospitality.
We had the privilege of staying with a host family on this trip, a couple (Marga and Mark) and their three young daughters. By American standards they lived in a small apartment, even compared to those of us who live in San Francisco. The five of them lived in a space smaller than the two-bedroom that Jason, Vivienne and I currently live in. And yet on the first night they welcomed us with the words “our home is your home.” The next morning I woke up to realize that the statement was not merely lip service – the couple had given up their master bedroom for us while they slept on the ground of their daughters’ room.
The next day they told us to invite anyone from our team over for lunch. “But we have over 20 people on our team,” Jason said, concerned. His comment was answered simply with “No problem.” Back at home I worry that people won’t be comfortable if we have over a dozen guests, and our common area is almost double theirs.
Every morning our host prepared us a breakfast of three different types of ham, eggs, a variety of toasts, pastries, and freshly made drinks. It felt like a banquet compared to the daily oatmeal or cereal we typically have back at home. When we tried to thank our host family for their generosity and sacrifice, we were reprimanded that no thanks was needed. When we made lunch plans in an effort to be easier house guests and to give them a break, we were met with disappointment that they couldn’t do more or cook more for us.
The experience reminded me of the familiar bible story of Jesus feeding five thousand people with only five loaves of bread and two fish. A lot of times we believe that we don’t have enough to offer to others, that our house is too small, that we don’t have enough money, or that we simply don’t have time. In truth we usually do have enough to share, as long as we are willing to give it our all, just as Christ has done for us.
Thank you for allowing us to share about this trip. Most of all, we are grateful for your prayers and support."