Thursday, January 20, 2011

Back From Spain, Final Countdown

I (Kevin) am back from Spain!  It was a great trip and crucial to our placement in Spain.  I was able to formally meet future key relationships for ministry and legal residency.  At the beginning of this process we were "gearing up."  Now it is time to "countdown."

At the beginning of this process we needed to raise $5518/mo.  We have now gotten close and only need to raise $773/mo!

Ministry Placement:
At the beginning of this process we were headed to Madrid, then Valencia or Sevilla, then Malaga, and now to Granada (with a likely future move to Malaga).  We now have the key relationships in place to be mentored while learning the language and the culture and to begin planning and planting Spearhead - Spain, the practical missions training program.

Visa Procurement:
At the beginning of this process we had no partnership to invite us formally for our visa, nor the required monthly necessary funds for sustainability of our program.  Now we have reached the required funds to seek out our visa and have the inviting organization to serve as our legal reference in Spain.

It has been a very exciting and long process, full of unsurities, anxieties and much testing of our faith.  We are in the final stretch it seems and the various countdowns will begin.  Soon enough we will know when to buy our tickets to move and a daily countdown can begin.  Please be praying for all the final pieces to come together and for us to begin the daily countdown until departure.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

¿Qué te pasa en Granada?

What happened with me in Granada one might ask?  Well I write this from Granada, so it is not over yet, but it has been eventful, particularly spiritually.

First, about the country and culture - it has far exceeded my expectations.  I have heard that Spaniards are not quite as service oriented as I might have come to expect if I was in the States.  Maybe that is true, but that has not been my experience on this trip.  Even the Spaniards here have warned me not to take it personally if the bus drivers are terribly mannered.  Yet, they have all been mildly friendly and even helpful.  The ease of getting around has been fantastic as well, a lot easier than I thought.

I have had some upsets and some assurances, which have made for a ping-pongy trip.  I came with expectations of receiving a letter of invitation and carrying that with me to the States so that we can have our visa appointment and get ready for moving.  That is not the case.  I came expecting to work under a certain leader here, but came to find out that things have changed.  I then came to expect working for another component of the very same ministry and THAT has turned out not to materialize!  So I've been forlorn on accounts and frustrated.  By in large I have been confused.  "God, we have been in this process faithfully for 2 1/2 years!  Why is it not all coming together?  The support is coming in, but have we followed the wrong path?"  God let me stew in that question for a good portion of my day yesterday.

God's response has come from some good things.  Unexpectedly a ministry I was interested in a while back does want us and its ability to house the future ministry of Spearhead is incredible.  Unfortunately this can't be set up right away and they are changing their legal status and are unable to provide invitations at this point.  The presiding board member of that ministry is also the head of the ministry that things have changed on us for, BUT he wants to be our inviting organization still.  Yahoo!!!  On top of that, I have had a couple of good conversations with LAM's president who has continually assured me of trying to do everything they can to get us to the field as soon as possible and has also apologized to me about the way things have turned out for us.  We also have swapped stories of many missionaries we've known that have had an even more difficult time getting their placement together.  So thank God for some movement.

Every day has required me to hit my knees while I'm here.  And I've had to do it without Leah, which makes that physical separation all the more difficult.  The hardest part about this trip has been that I miss her and Eliana so much, and I can't share with them the wonderful things I'm learning about Granada and can't come together directly in prayer for our future and where God is taking us.  God has continually affirmed our calling and we will continue in faith.

I just want to thank all of our friends and family who support us in this venture both financially and prayerfully. I can only tell you all that God has been faithful, and I do feel it.  Please be praying for things to continually be moving forward, for the Book-Satterlees to continually be putting it all in God's hands and to be released from our anxiousness.  We are called not to worry about tomorrow, which for most North Americans is impossible.  It is very impossible (as if there could be such a thing) for me without God's provision.  Yet it seems to be a lesson we are learning and poco a poco (little by little) God is providing us with what we need and strengthening our character and our hearts.

So in this beautiful city and this intriguing country I have made friends, come nearly to tears, and rested my nights in peace because God has always ended my nights with a whisper - "I am here."  That is what is happening in Granada this week.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Heading to Spain in Less than a Week

Next Monday I (Kevin) get to go to Spain.  I will be attending one day of board meetings with a missions training organization based in Malaga.  I will have the opportunity to meet some theological educators, which will be fun, but also I will have the opportunity to meet with the head of the organization who is going to provide our sponsoring visa paperwork.  Much prayer has gone into this placement and we are excited to get it down.  Following that day I will be heading to Granada, where we will be living.  This will be a time for exploration, to get to know the city, where we might want to live and pray for the people who will touch our lives and whose lives we hope to impact.  I will also get to meet with the man who will serve as our boss during our transition year(s).  Much prayer has gone into this relationship as well.

Please be praying for this time, that all the documentation we need will come through so that we can make our appointment on the 18th of January with the consulate in San Francisco (it is the day after I return from Spain.)  Please pray for Leah and Eliana as they do not get to join me on this trip.