Saturday, December 13, 2008

Snow, El Bosco, and a cold little stroll

Well it went from rain to snow in Madrid for us, not that it stuck, but it was fun nonetheless. Leah and I hit Madrid today to walk around and look for areas in which we may want to live. Madrid is beautiful. There are many different barios in Madrid and all of them have a unique taste.

The first we visited the other day, MalasaƱa, has tight narrow streets and is full of life and youth. Apparently it is where the artists live.

For the washed up artists, or those trying to make it, we toured Lavapies, a bario with a HIGH concentration of foreign immigrants. We saw people of African, Asian and Arab descent while walking through the narrow streets. It was intriguing to say the least and quite fun to see the diversity. We strolled in the cold around the other areas as well, mostly with wider streets.

I (Kevin) think Madrid is beautiful (I think Leah agrees), and may rival my fascination with Portland. Today was a good day to compare the two as when the snow stopped the rain persisted into the evening.

After a little Spain style Mexican food (which was so-so), we headed of to Museo del Prado, one of the more famous art museums in Europe, second probably to the Louvre. We got to see some Rafael, Velazquez and many other famous artists and their beautiful work. I (Kevin) liked the Flamenco work. Leah did not.

After the museum, the rain had stopped, it had warmed up 3 degrees, and we strolled again in the breeze with many evening walkers to see the Christmas lights around el parque Retiro. It was very nice and beautiful.

Pictures to come. Tomorrow Church.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Rain in Spain

So apparently Madrid has been experiencing a drought for the last few years, and people here say that it hardly rains. However, Kevin and I seemed to have perfectly picked the rainiest time of year! :) The forecast for the next few days is light rain, heavy rain, then snow/rain! Kevin, the lover or gloomy weather is in his element!

Today we are going to head down to one of the poorer areas of Madrid to pass out sandwiches to the homeless. Wednesday we met up with a couple who are missionaries here, but live more towards the center of Madrid. Last night we helped out at our church's homework club and attended a Bible study. All in all we have been getting a small taste for life here in Madrid. Saturday we hope to walk around the city doing a prayer walk. Please pray that God continues to give us discernment with all of the information and opportunities that we are learning about.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Spain at last!

We made it! After a very long trip Kevin and I landed in Spain Friday morning. We were more than a bit tired, but happy to be in Spain. First on our agenda was to figure out how to get to El Escorial, a super cute little town on the outskirts of Madrid where we would be participating in an evangelism conference. An hour and a half later we found ourselves at our hotel, but they wouldn't have rooms available for another four hours! So we walked around the town, taking in the sights. When we got to our room we took a quick nap and then started right in with the conference and the Spanish schedule. Dinner that night was at 9 pm, and our last plenary session of the day started at 10 pm, not finishing till nearly midnight. Still, we really enjoyed the whole experience. We met a lot of people who are doing ministry all over Spain, and got to have an idea of what it is to do ministry here.

This is a picture of one of our worship times, which were really neat.

It is not super warm here in Spain, and has been raining our drizzling quite a lot. Still that did not keep us from venturing out to try to go to see the famous monastery of El Escorial, where all the Spanish kings are entombed. We did not go in as there was a really long line, but enjoyed it from the outside.

Our conference ended on Monday, and we are currently living with a Free Methodist missionary family in Madrid. We will keep you updated on our adventures!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

On Our Way

So in about eight hours Kevin and I will be getting up to get ready to go to the airport. Our flight leaves at 6:10 in the morning, and we will be traveling all day across the U.S., then in the evening we will be leaving from New York to fly to Madrid. Our first event will be a conference about evangelism in Spain. I actually think it will be very interesting, but am a little nervous about jumping right into everything, and I am hoping that we won't be too jet-lagged since the conference begins the same day we land. Please be thinking of and praying for us as we are traveling. Some specifics to pray for are: rest, successful travel (we have to navigate from the airport to where the conference is with all of our luggage on public transportation), and good connections with the new people we will meet. I am not sure what our internet access will be during the conference, but we hope to post at least once while we are in Madrid, so stay tuned!