Saturday, July 31, 2010

Here you go!! More scenes of our summer days, farewells, and fun city hang-out times... above was a park afternoon...
Jake & Abraham, at the bus station to see Jake off before he flew to Wyoming ...
... with friends celebrating yet another big win for Spain, in a small plaza (square)
Lea's (from Germany) good-bye party at her church... seen here with Inma
... last night out to dance salsa, for Elizabeth (from North Carolina), along with our amiga Ani

Summer days & farewells...

This summer is one of changes and saying farewells... and of course, the semester had to wind down... so I thought I'd include a few 'shots' of these special encounters-- above is when a group of us went to see the play "Carmen" in the luxurious building where the story of this woman who rolled cigars actually originated-- the "Rectorado" (where we have our English Club)-- which used to be a celebrated tobacco factory. Then French author Prospero Merimeé wrote about Carmen.
.... above is one of our last Bible discussion groups (called "Charlemos") meeting in a sandwich shop (around the table-- Sierra, Leti, Carlos, Hendri, Maggie & yours truly) ...
...a very tearful airport good-bye for Sierra, in the middle, from Oregon (left -to- rt.: Rosie from Australia; Elizabeth from North Carolina who soon after headed out, but had actually stayed 3 weeks longer to serve with Connexxion!; Inma, who will visit me soon in Germany; and Lea, who is returning to Potsdam to study)
...a barbecue and farewell party in my apartment with a couple dozen students...
...a garden snacktime with Inma's uncle & aunt, letting us visit them at their beach home the Chiclana Beach, for a day trip with friends (Loida, Inma, Sierra, Maggie, Hendrik, Jake)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Vive Ahora.... ad

The overall ad campaign with the red heart is called: "Vive Ahora" or "Live now" (Ron Barceló is the name of the rum; more info. in Spanish here). Last November the company went to the city of Madrid, with a VW bus, and gathered up 200 college students to give them 1 night in a dance club on the island of Ibiza... They weren't allowed to bring anything with them (they had to fly with the clothes on their back-- "con lo puesto").

I love this idea!... that we are to live NOW. It's our time. What are we waiting for?

“No one can serve two masters. ...You cannot serve both God and Money.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

“...For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6) In short…

o 1 Master.

o No worries.

o Father knows.

o 1 Pursuit.

o Live now!

Less campaign

A well-known rum producer has a great ad campaign going presently that caught my eye...

The poster reads, "Less suitcase and more backpack." Doesn't that remind you of something? Jesus said to his followers, whom we sent out in pairs, on a mission:

"He told them, 'The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! ....Do not take a purse or bag or sandals...

“When you enter a house, first say, 'Peace to this house.' If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him. Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house....

“Heal the sick who are there and tell them, 'The kingdom of God is near you.'"

First, there is a harvest. Lives are at stake. And timing is crucial when you have a harvest-- you don't want to waste the season.

Second, it's big!-- "plentiful." So it's like- hey, what are we waiting for?

Next, Jesus sends me and you out with a BIG global purpose. It's not tiny or insignificant. However, there aren't enough people out there fulfilling this purpose, not enough "workers."

Either they're lazy. Or they prefer to stay put, comfortable where they are. Or they basically don’t care.

Fourth, Jesus discourages overweight ... well... scratch that. Let's be honest-- he FORBIDS "traveling heavy." You know, those tourists who take 2 humongous suitcases, that each weigh 1 pound over the airline limit, plus an overloaded laptop case AND a purse (and a coat over the arm).

That statement hit me again when reading it recently, because I'm in the middle of a move. I'm debating what I really should take along... It's convicting, really. And I'm dreading the MOUNTAIN of stuff/ furniture/ boxes that those dear movers' backs will be unloading on moving day in August. ("Really, Jesus-- JUST the sandles I have on?" I was just trying on sandles yesterday in store, with 37 degree Centigrade temps outside, but the sizes in Spain don't fit me!)

Fifth, we are to bring "peace" to people.

Check that: leave the stuff. Bring peace. That sounds simple, huh? We wish them peace and accept their hospitality. It's not easy to ASK for things or be seen as "begging" (that's what it may FEEL like, huh?). Do you have trouble accepting others' gifts to you of: money, time, a T-shirt, or an act of service? In reality, we're giving more than we're taking. Someone may support our non-profit organization financially. Others may be inviting me for "tapas" and a coffee. Time is a sacrificial gift that friends offer me. I'm receiving, yes! But I'm not indebted to them.

The big stuff of friendship, sharing who I am. And who God can be for them. That is the greatest gift I can pass on (or give back). Healing—the mind, emotions, body, soul. “God is near you!” Wow-- that is a huge statement! How can I pass on this Good News of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection—to change lives? What kinds of BIG, faith- expressive prayers can affect radical change around me? Could I tell it better, with less distractions of "stuff"?

o How do you know when to throw away or give away, especially around moving time?

o What radical decisions have you made to minimize on “stuff,” that help you to maximize on people and God?

o Click HERE more info. about this ad campaign.

Friday, July 23, 2010

learning to cook spanish

For my birthday, Inma and her family gave me a special "dish"that has a handle on the other side, to flip a "tortilla de patatas"-- a very typical Spanish quiche type dish. If you click the link under "tortilla," you'll get step by step instructions with photos!
Part of the gift was an incredible invitation to learn how to make it, with her mom! It was a slooowwwwww process.
In the meantime, I shared a delicious cup of Paloma's gazpacho (cold tomato soup). Her secret ingredient is adding a bit of apple to it.
I'm excited, too, because Inma will come to visit me in Braunschweig, in late August, so we can hang out & I can "meld" my 2 cultures/ "worlds" together!

Visitors & Summer Fun

We've had groups of visitors from the USA, for 3 weeks in June, arriving in "teams" to help La Comunidad Aljarafe with various exchange events and projects. One group from Gainesville, Florida met with about 7 computer science professors to learn about their research project to help handicapped persons having low mobility be able to communicate better and carry out their commands through a "smart home." Veronica is explaining here.And Professor Alberto presented their findings, to start things off... We hosted several afternoons (well-- let's explain... "midday" in Spain is about 2-4 p.m. so "afternoon" in Spain starts at about 6 p.m until 9 p.m.!) of "Ferias de la Familia" or Family Fairs in parks in Bormujos ...
Here we are on campus in the computer science building -- a special English Club time with volunteers from Tennessee.... (I'm on the front row)
With my buddies Jose Maria, and Daniel (visiting from Caceres), at one outdoor "Feria de la Familia". They did concerts, taught country dancing, did crafts & games...
We also had a few youth parties in our "local" (store -front, cafe- looking building) in Bormujos, which is a suburb of Sevilla. This is where we have worship on Sundays and English Chats during the week.
A few mornings they came on campus with me to survey university students using "Soularium"-- which has 5 questions about students desires and life as well as spiritual things, using 50 photos.