In May I was blessed to be able to have my sister, Tabitha, for a visit! It would take forever for me to tell you all that we did, but I thought I would just let you read a review in Tab's own words:
"Incredible. Amazing. Beautiful. Life changing. These are just a few of the words I can use to describe my trip to Spain. From the moment I stepped off the plane in Granada, I knew my life would never be the same. And I certainly felt so blessed to have the opportunity to visit my sister in the land she now calls 'home'. I had been anticipating this moment for many months, and now it had become my reality!! What an absolute blessing!! :) Bek and Gaby were waiting for me at the airport when I arrived.....how wonderful to hug my sister!!!!.....and to finally embrace Gaby, my sister in Christ with whom I had only ever spoken to through skype! :) Praise the Lord!!!
I was immediately struck by the beauty of the land. This southwestern area of Spain is filled with mountains and they are absolutely majestic and breath-taking! The fruit trees and olive groves cover the mountainsides and the valleys like a patchwork quilt. I didn't realize that it was such an arid region.....the soil is rocky and dry. It seemed so bizarre to see a cactus and a palm tree side by side! One afternoon we drove up to a ski station atop the Sierra Nevada and enjoyed throwing snowballs at each other!! :) We then proceeded down the mountains and 45 minutes later we were standing barefoot on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea as the waves rolled over our toes!! What a day....an amazing, beautiful, incredible day!!!
I was also struck by the history and culture that surrounded me. I often found myself looking at buildings that are older than our country!! Wow!! It was so fun to eat traditional 'Spanish' foods...which, by the way, are wonderful!!! I tried things I have NEVER eaten in my life....what a blast! Who knew I would like cow intestine soup!?!??! Yummy!! :) I got to experience a flamenco show!....so intense....and full of tradition. I watched as a shepherd led his goats through the street outside Bek's apartment window. On that same street, I watched families come and go from a party they were attending.....many of them talking and texting on their cell phones....then they drove away in their cars. It's an interesting culture....full of deep tradition and lifestyle...yet mixed with modern conveniences and technology.
More than anything, I enjoyed the time I got to spend with Bek!! It was so wonderful to see what she sees, to go where she goes, to do what she does!!! :) I loved going to class with her.....even though I didn't understand a word! :) It was so great to see where she lives....to meet the people she knows...to spend a few days living life with her! It gives me a whole new perspective when I hear her stories and I read her newsletters.....I now know who she's talking about and the places she describes!! And Gaby!!! What a joy it was to meet her face to face!! What an amazing young lady from Venezuela....now spreading the gospel in Spain. She got to practice her English and I stumbled through my Spanish. :) Great memories!
During this trip, I was reminded that we live in a world that desperately needs Jesus! We met a believer who runs a little cafe in a neighboring town....when Bek asked her how she became a follower of Jesus.....she said she read the Word of God....and believed!! Hallelujah!! I was reminded of Paul's words in Romans 10....'faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.' I am proud of my sister, who lives on the other side of the world in the little town of Monachil, nestled in the mountains.....as she prays for God to move in the hearts of the people around her....and she tries to live in obedience to the one who told us to go and make disciples of all nations. May we do the same because every nation needs Jesus, every people group needs Jesus, every person needs Jesus.....may you and I speak of Him more boldly, love others more deeply, and live for Him more passionately."
Because this is my blog, I get to pick the picture for this post. :) And I love this picture of Tab -- it captures her spirit and our time together perfectly!