A Spanish Weekend filled with Ministry and Memories

 Written by University of Arkansas student, Alison Michalak on our Veritas Spain program! Check out the rest of her blogs athttp://wildandjoyfulsoul.weebly.com. Check out the Spain programs here!

Hola Amigos!!
Que tal todo? Todo esta bien aqui! Este fin de semana a sido muy divertido y espontáneo. No tengo muchas fotos pero tengo mucha para escribir. Alright enough with the Spanish, in case you don’t want to translate that, I just said that I had a fun and spontaneous weekend and that although I don’t have many pictures I have much to tell. Now for some stories!!!

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This weekend began with an outreach event Friday night at our mentors English academy outside of Sevilla. Our mentors teach English classes here and spend a lot of their time building relationships with the locals and sharing Christ’s love with anyone they come in contact with. When we arrived to their house in Montequinto we shared lunch and a time of worship before setting up for our fun game night we had planned for the kids and parents.

Our outreach was an English game night where we played games to help the kids and parents practice their English. We weren’t really sure what to expect going into it because we had no idea how many kids would come or what ages they would be. However, It was a huge success! We ended up having a good turnout of kids ranging from ages 3-14. It was awesome seeing these children have such an excitement to learn a new language and also made me realize how behind I am when it comes to foreign languages lol. After a fun time of games, we wrapped up the fiesta with a little dance party. THIS WAS SO FUN. If you know me you know that I am a big fan of dancing terribly like nobody is watching (a skill I have acquired in my college years) so I was in my element for sure. We started off by teaching them all the Cupid Shuffle (throwback to all my middle school dances at Scott Johnson middle school) and the cotton eyed joe. By the time our dance party came to a close we had even learned a few dances to some Spanish songs. All in all, it was a fabulous night and it was so fun getting to hang out with those kids for the night.
After cleaning up, we spent the night at our mentors house and enjoyed a lovely breakfast and devotional the next morning. We also helped moved a bunch of stuff from their basement to the academy as they are preparing to move. We finished up our time in Montequinto with a lovly picnic in a nearby abandoned olive tree field. (So Spanish sounding right? Well just wait because the next part is going to sound super American) We grilled up burgers, played some American football, and soaked up the sun all while listening to throwbacks and country music. It was a great time with the Veritas ladies yet again. I hate the thought of leaving all these wonderful friends in a couple months so we just won’t talk about that right now!

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After our picnic we headed back home and this is where the spontaneous part comes in. Autumn and I went to the Discoteca for the first time. Our host mom was so surprised that we were going out so late because normally we are in bed shortly after 11 or 12 haha. Anywhoo, naturally Autumn and I got our nice jeans on and even broke out the eyeliner for our big night on the town. Neither of us brought “clubbin” clothes so it was quite humorous getting ready as we tried to make our street clothes fancy enough for the disco. Somehow we managed a couple of cute outfits and hit the town. After one failed attempt at going to a disco across town we opted for one closer to our neck of the woods. When we arrived, there wasn’t really anyone dancing yet so naturally us 7 American girls got the dancing started. We just went straight to the middle of the dancefloor and danced our hearts out. Eventually, people began to join us and pretty soon the whole dance floor was full. I’m sure we were quite a sight to see as we danced the night away(And yes we did in fact request the “whip/nae nae song” with no shame). After a couple hours of dancing we were ready to call it a night around 3am, which is super early for the typical Spaniard. However due to our impressive dance moves we were exhausted and ready for bed.
The next morning I woke up to my roommate telling me our host mom has a surprise for us. They had 2 extra tickets to the Betis futbol game that afternoon and she was giving them to us!!! WE WERE PUMPED. Our little brother Alvaro gave us a couple of Betis scarves and then we headed off to the stadium. We had awesome seats up on one of the top levels of the stadium and the weather was fabulous. This was my first professional futbol game ever and oh my gosh the energy was incredible! Everyone was decked out in their team’s gear and people were chanting, singing, and whistling the entire time. The amount of passion in that place made me long to be a part of the die-hard fan section that led all the chants and cheers. Even though I didn’t know the cheers, I got to partake for a moment in the electricity in that place and it was unforgettable. Betis won 2-0 and that means a very happy host family. When Betis wins everyone wins around here.
Sunday afternoon and night were filled with rooftop lunch picnics, church, and studying. This weekend has been one of the best and I am falling more and more in love with this place. Before I go I wanna give you a quick random update on some more things I have discovered while I’ve been here:

  • Walking around 10 miles a day is considered normal here
  • Gospel runs are my new favorite thing- where you listen to pump up Jesus music during a long run (try it, it’s awesome)
  • Boquerones, which are fried tiny fish similar to anchovies, are quite possibly my new favorite food.
  • The “dab” dance move transcends all cultures- my little host brother does it all the time (we definitely have a handshake involving it).
  • There is a different season for everything. (Ecclesiastes 3)
  • AND “THE LORD HAS MADE EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL IN IT’S TIME” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

 

To add on to that last thought if you have ever felt discontent with an area of your life or less than beautiful at some point just remember that the Lord will make your situation beautiful with time. Just like Jesus’ death on the cross, God turned it into something so incredibly beautiful with the resurrection of Christ. Maybe it will take longer than 3 days but it will happen. Also, if you’ve never listened to the song “Nothing I hold onto” by ethnos church please do it, it’s a good one.

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Alrighty people thank you for reading my novel of a blog post! Hope you are having a wonderful day and make this week a great one! This weekend we are traveling to Cordoba and Granada Spain then Morocco the next week! I’ll write again soon!

Sending lots of love and joy your way,
❤ Als

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