Saturday, May 8, 2010

Closing Comments

Nice picture huh?:) Well it's official, I am a college graduate. It's kind of hard to believe! I had the privilege of graduating with my mom (she got her MA in the seminary) on Friday. It's been great to be home and spend some time with family and friends. And I especially enjoyed going home to church.

It's hard to sum up what God taught me in the past two months, but one of the greatest things was His sufficiency. This was a great ministry opportunity, but the first part was challenging in a way that I have never experienced before. I didn't know anyone or how the school worked, and the culture was different too. But God was so faithful in EVERY way. He showed me that no matter where I am or what I am doing, He will provide all that is needed. My walk with Him was so close, in a way I have not experienced before.I could share so many other things, but that would take quite a while :)

Many people have been asking, "Well, what's next?" Well.....that is a good question. While I was in Spain, I prayed through some different options. English teachers are definitely in need overseas, including the school in Spain. I prayed and openly asked the Lord if He wanted me to come back to the little and beautiful town of Camarma. But as I continued to pray, the Lord continued to burden my heart for home. I don't just mean being with my family, but being involved at my church. And not only that, God also increased my desire for grad school. I know, I just finished college, but I really think grad school is something that would be beneficial. While I was in Spain, I was able to teach an AP Honors class. I absolutely loved that class, but it definitely opened my eyes to how much I don't know about my area of study. I talked about all of this with Merry and other teachers, and many of them said it would be a good idea to go to grad school. And that is the direction I am heading. But beyond that, I don't really know specifics. Im looking to stay in the area. It might be too late for me to start in August, which would be ok. I wouldn't mind starting in August, but having a little more time would allow me to work and save up to pay for grad school. Im trying to take things a day at a time and trust that the Lord will show me the rest of the way. I would really appreciate your prayers, for school, and for a job this summer. I cannot thank you enough for praying for me and the ministry God has given me the last few months. I wish there was some way I could repay you all, but know that I am thankful for you .If I can ever return the favor and pray for you, please please let me know.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Last Note from Spain

This is my senior AP class. They were such a joy to teach!! This morning was my last morning teaching, so they surprised me with a going away breakfast! It was also nerd day for spirit week-they do not normally dress like that:) I can't believe that tomorrow is my last day... but I'll finish with track and field day!! At the moment I am pretty tired, and tomorrow will probably be pretty full, so I won't have time to write. I did want to share that picture with you all... I don't really know how to sum up two months; God has been so good. I will try to write at least once more when I am home (you can pray for an uneventful trip with opportunities to share!), but for now, adios from Espana.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


I love God's sovereignty!! And He gave me a great reminder yesterday that He is always watchful of His children. I was suppose to meet the jovenes group at this park called Juan Carlos. Well Merry dropped me off, and she couldn't stay until I found them because she had to pick someone up from the airport. Juan Carlos is not a typical's HUGE!!!! I started walking in the direction I was told, but I felt very lost. I just started praying that the Lord would work this out somehow. I didn't have a cell phone or anything, but I have to admit I kind of laughed at the situation I found myself in. After about 10-15 min. of wandering, I ran into Marie, the French teacher at ECA!! She's become a good friend during my time here. The reason she was at the park was because she was taking the 10th grade to the park for a class party. She was looking for one of her students when we "happened" to run into each other. She showed me where they were going to be, and if I couldn't find my group, that I could come back and hang out with them. I walked for a bit longer, but I realized if I kept wandering I might not be able to find Marie again. So I decided that I would just go and hang out with them. And we had a blast! We played apples to apples and messed around with a soccer ball. God is so good in how He works things out.
Today was my last Sunday, and it was a little sad to say bye to my new friends. But God was good in the time of street evangelism--all of us had the opportunity to share with people today!! And then Merry took me to a couple of parks today after church. The parks were BEAUTIFUL!! I will miss Spain....but for now I am enjoying the time I have here. Thanks for praying.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

8 Days ?!?!?!?

That's right, in 8 days I will be making the journey home. That doesn't seem possible!! And it's such a mix of emotion....I can't wait to see my family....Im exited to graduate (although there's quite a bit of work on my portfolio that needs to be done before that happens!)....but it's like I'm just getting use to things here. One of my students asked me the other day "Miss De Cleene, do you really have to go home?" But enough of that for now; I want to tell you about my week.
Monday went well. I had a good chat with my class about how things could have been handled better and what I did wrong and should have done. I think it went well, and I was really pleased with how well they did on their final project (they acted out scenes from a book). The whole situation was a real learning experience for all of us.
I also said by to my friend Kathleen this week. She was the other student teacher in the Elementary. It was such a blessing to have another student teacher here, and I thank God for her friendship.We went out to eat one of her last nights here (Spanish-Mexican:). It was all the El. Ed teachers plus me (they were nice enough to invite me!:). We would go on walks and chat; I will miss having her around.
I have also really enjoyed my time with Merry. We teach and work in the same classroom, and then we hang out at night and watch a movie or an old Murder She Wrote. I have learned a lot from her, and her love for God is so clear. Even though she is in her 60s, she relates well to her students-they love her! And she never comes out of her room in the morning until she has had her time in God's Word. She also pushes me, which is not always comfortable, but so good for me!
Emily,the girl I asked you to pray for that just found out she had diabetes, is home now. I think she's doing ok, but still overwhelmed. Please keep her in your prayers.
This is basically my last weekend in Spain, and I think Sat. I am getting together with the jovenes (young people) of the church I have been attending. I have to admit, Im a little nervous because I don't know too many of the people, and the ones I do know not super well, but I think it will be a great way to spend my last Saturday. But your prayers for that would be appreciated too :) That's all for now. Gracias por tus oraciones:)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Birthday Blessings

Well how many people can say they celebrated their 21st birthday in Spain?!? No worries, I didn't do anything crazy, but it was a great day, for the most part (I'll come back to that). When I got to school, I already had a couple cards waiting for me from my teacher-friends. And I actually have the same birthday as Marie, the French teacher; it was fun to have a birthday together. Someone made a cake for us, which was great, and then later on in the morning I went upstairs to the kitchen and a couple of the other teachers had made some things as a surprise for Marie, but once they found out it was my birthday, they invited me to stay. The piano teacher (Korean) had made this Korean dish that was amazing! And she's really funny, a Korean lady who speaks English and Spanish intermittently:) The other teacher made amazing sugar cookies, and another made crepes. I didn't eat full portions of all of this, but the piano teacher told me it's Korean tradition to eat LOTS on your birthday. A couple of hours later Merry took me out to eat for lunch at a place called Ribs. It was really good; I think that's the first time I ordered Ribs (it use to have a more Spanish name, and it was the very first restaurant Merry went to when she arrived in Spain). We ate a big lunch, and then came back and cleaned her apartment and made snacks. Later that night, about 7 or 8 of the single lady teachers came over. We talked and played Taboo (which was hilarious) and then Merry made me a "cake." I told Merry that I wasn't the biggest cake person in the world, but I told her that I like peanut butter and chocolate. So she made homemade reeses, and we ate them with vanilla ice cream. I loved it :) It was a wonderful birthday (although according to my family I get to celebrate with them when I get home, so I get it twice:)
The only hard part of the day was one of my classes. I won't go into detail about it all, but I let the students goof off and act in a way that I should not have tolerated (they were working on a project together). I should have been more specific in my directions among other things, but during class I didn't do much about it. When class was done, I talked with Merry about it. To be honest, I was ashamed; I should have handled the situation so differently. And I wasn't the example to the students I should have been. So on Monday we are going to have a chat, and I am going to admit what I did wrong, and we're going to see what we can learn from the situation. I really would ask you to pray for wisdom, that I would handle the situation in a way that would just point the students to God. I read in Hebrews 12 a few days ago "He disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His holiness." God is good, especially when He reprimands me.
Oh, and I have one other prayer request. You can pray that all goes well for travels. I don't know how much you have heard about the volcano in Iceland, but the ash is making a mess in Europe. Paris, London, and Frankfurt airports are closed, and the one in Barcelona is cancelling a lot of their flights. The flights to the US from Madrid are ok right now, but they are saying there's a bigger volcano in Iceland that could errupt soon, and that one could create a bigger mess. I would appreciate your prayers, but God knows:) Thanks for reading and for praying.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Prayer Request

Hey everyone!! I don't have too much time--God has blessed me with a great week. But I want to ask you to pray for one of my students ( I didn't get to be in her class for too long, but she's a great girl, and I've really enjoyed our conversations). Last night she was taken to the hospital because she had high blood sugar. As of now, the doctors are pretty sure that she has diabetes, the type when your body doesn't produce your needed insulin. She's actually the Headmaster's daughter--her name is Emily. Please pray for Emily and her family--they are a great family who loves the Lord and could use the encouragement of your prayers. Thanks.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Hey everyone. I hope you are doing well wherever you are. It's crazy, three weeks from today I will be at my home church (hopefully if I am not too jet-lagged:) It's mixed emotions. At times, it seems sad to leave this place that I have grown to love. At other times I can barely wait for the time to come to go home! But the last couple of days have been nice. Yesterday I went into Madrid again with a group of students because a teacher wanted to take some students visiting from Germany to the city. It was a nice day and fun to see a little more of the city (and to have the energy to do it!). And I spent most of the time with the teacher from Germany; her name was Lena, and we had a nice time talking.Today I went out evangelizing at the metro again., but it didn't go so well. None of us really had any conversations. To be honest, I probably could have tried harder, but I just never know the best way to do it, and everyone looked like they were in a hurry today, but at least some good tracks were passed out to people. And this afternoon I helped Merry make paella, a very spanish dish. It was very good! But it also makes a lot, so we have lunch for the next three days now :) Teaching is going well, but I would appreciate your prayers that I would finish strong. I really love the students here. On Friday that had a chapel service when the students reported on their missions trip to Croatia ; it was so ENCOURAGING to here these students have a passion to share the Gospel. That' all for now. Thanks again and again for praying.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Day by Day

God has been good , and I am feeling almost back to my normal self:) Thanks for praying. This week has been great. It is a missions focus week at the school, so everday we have a short chapel about missions. Actually, there is a group from a Christian school in Germany here this week , and they presented their school this morning. God is working all over the world, and it´s so encouraging to hear about. I was actually talking with one of the teachers from Germany, and she was telling me all the things she had to do to gradute from college in Germany....let´s just say I have no room to complain!!:) It´s crazy, in about three weeks I´ll be getting ready to come home. Part of me can´t believe that, and part of me can´t wait to come home:) So if you could pray that I am all here the last three weeks... I would really apprecaite that. Thanks so so much for praying, I really cannot thank you enough.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Back in Spain

I feel like I have so much to write about...the conference in Germany, the trip to London, the Easter service...but to be honest I don't have much energy right now. You may be thinking, "Wait, weren't you just sick?" Ha, yes I was. But I don't think my body handles the crazy traveling I've been going very well. I got home from London at 2 in the morning and then got up a little after 6 for the sunrise service....I don't think that helped. But I am glad that I went to the service. It was actually outside in a park. It was a small group of people...we sang and then we had a short sermon on the importance of the resurrection (thankfully it was one of the missionaries speaking because they don't talk as fast:). After the service, we had churros and hot chocolate. This is a very typical Spanish treat, and the hot chocolate is more of a hot pudding really, but that's what makes it good for dipping:) I was able to talk with my friend Priscilla some...she still hasn't found a job, but we had a great time talking. Please keep praying for her.
I actually stayed from school today and slept... a lot. Im praying that by tomorrow I will be able to go back to school! But I read in Numbers 10 today and that's when the Israelites were complaining for meat....there perspective was completely off. I prayed that I wouldn't be like that, though I know I have the same sinful heart. Just because I am sick does not give me license to have a bad attitude!! So that's all for now; thanks for praying.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Adventure to Remember

This morning we were suppose to fly out of Basel airport at 1pm (actually Switzerland, but it's on the borer) to come back to Spain. When we arrived, we were informed that our flight had been cancelled due to shortage of staff. They couldn't rebook us until Monday (this is a cheaper airline that's been having some problems, and it's holy week so traveling is nuts). That wouldn't work for any of us, so we started praying because we didn't know what we could do. After many phone conversations and talks with people at the airport and looking online, God gave us a way. We went to the train station and rode the train until the Frankfurt airport ( about 2 and a half hours and we had to change trains at one point). When we got to Frankfurt, we grabbed a bite to eat, and went to the terminal of LAN (formally Lan Chile) and got on a flight that's final destination was Santiago, Chile (this was about 8 at night now). We finally arrived in Madrid at 10:30 tonight, and it was 12:00 when I got home to Merry's. That's the somewhat short version, but God was so good on working out everything. All the other options were flights that cost over 400 euros. I mean I still had to pay, but definitely not that much. And everything went smoothly once we got out tickets. I praise God that I was with a group of people who knew what to do. Im pretty sure I would have had a meltdown if I was by myself! I leave for London tomorrow night ,but I am actually leaving for the airport in the afternoon to catch a ride there. IF you could just pray everything works out with flights, that would be great. But God proves He knows how to take care of His children, so thanks so much for praying.Im going to go get some sleep now :)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Off for Spring Break

In about 20 minutes I will be leaving for Kandern, Germany for a ACSI teacher conference I am attending. I will get back on Wednesday afternoon,and then Thur night I leave for London! It's quite the week. I am feeling better, not all the way yet, but hopefully soon:) Thanks so so much for all your prayers! I cannot thank you enough. I don't know how much I will be able to write this week, but I'll let you know how it all goes when I get back!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Thanks for praying for me today. God was good and helped me get through my first class (the one that was being observed) and then I had a good chat with Mr. Voelker. I didn't pass with flying colors, but he gave me very helpful insights into things that I can improve. I shouldn't expect to have this whole teacher thing down already (even thought the perfectionist pride side of me wants to). The last couple days have been good and humbling and I am thankful for them. The rest of the day I basically spent on the couch sleeping or watching a movie. If you could pray that I would be back to myself soon, especially since Im leaving for Germany on Sat., I would really appreciate that. But God knows that too, and He is always a good Father. Thanks again for praying; I am so thankful for you all.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


This morning I woke up and felt a cold coming on; I slept a little longer, made sure I took my vitamins, and went to school. As the day went on, I just started to feel weak.....God helped me through my classes., but I'll admit I don't feel like I taught very well. And today and tomorrow I am getting observed..... the class that was observed went ok could definitely have been better. After I was done teaching, I came home to take a nap ,and four hours later I got up. So I think I am fighting something; I don't share that with you so you feel bad for me. God is sovereign over everything, but I would ask for prayer. Lately, not just today, I just haven't felt like I've been doing the best job teaching. I'm sure that happens, so maybe you could just pray that I would have the strength to teach tomorrow, to the best of the ability God has given me. And that I would rest in His strength. I would really appreciate that. Thanks.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Another Sunday

Today Merry and I were running a little late to church....not abnormal for the culture but for Merry, it is. And it was a little rainy outside and still recovering from the all-nighter, I figured this would be a good day to be in the church service (look mom, I am taking care of myself!!:) . Many things were said that I didn't catch-it's so easy to let my mind wander when its all in Spanish- but my respect for this church grew. The man who spoke addressed how as a church they have been through a lot, but how through the Lord they have prevailed. They don't have a pastor, and a while back things got complicated with their lawyer for their building and the church had to pay for their building twice!! But God has been good and the people have been faithful to God and their church body. I was encouraged by them today.
Prayer request for this week: The Volkers (missionaries in Portugal) are coming this week. Mr. Volker is observing me teach Wednesday and Thursday, so would definitely appreciate your prayers. I talk fast when I get nervous......
And we only have school till Thursday and then Spring Break!!!! WHOHU!! :) Im not excited at all ;) Saturday I leave for Germany for a teacher conference and get back Wednesday, and then Thursday April 1st guess where I get to go? LONDON!!! God was so good and worked it out. I my not be able to see lots and lots of things because well..ha Im not made of money :) But I am going with one of the teachers, and we have two full days to spend in the city of London, and pictures are free!!! Im so excited!!:) Thanks so much for your prayers.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


So yesterday after school, I helped with the Lock-In the student council put on for the high school. About 30 students came, and it was a great time. One of the first things that we did was a staff and student council hunt. We who were in disguise dress-up in some pretty funny outfits. Merry had me wear a blond wig...ha I looked ridiculous, but it was pretty funny. I walked around the mall for an hour and was found by all the groups, but we all had a good time sharing our stories eating supper together (and I got some Starbucks on the way out because I figured I had a good excuse; I might like Starbucks better here:) We played some games at the school and watched the movies the students had made for a contest. And while the students played some more games, I helped a couple of the mom's make homemade pizza because of course we needed more food :) After eating LOTS of pizza, we watched a movie, and then split up to "get some sleep." Marie (the French teacher here, she's single and in her late 20s) and I actually had a really good time talking while we monitored everything; I thank God for her encouragement. And about 3 hours later ,a couple of the other parents came and made us some amazing pancakes, again which we all ate lots of! And then everyone went their ways.... I have yet to crash, but I have a feeling I will need a nap this afternoon! Thanks for your prayers. Tonight some of the lady teachers are getting together for pizza and a movie i think....and then off to church tomorrow. Please pray for the group of us that go out Sunday morning to witness to people at the Metro station. Thanks again, your prayers are much needed and appreciated.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


I am about to head of to school, but I just wanted to share with you what God's been doing. I am truly content being here in Spain. It's not that I don't miss home anymore, I still look forward to seeing everyone when I come home, but I know this is where God wants me right now, and there is such peace and joy in following my Father. At the same time, I do have a prayer request for you. I have a friend from church (Priscilla) and last night I found out she just lost her job. She has been such an encouragement to me when I have gone to church; she befriend me instantly, so if you could pray for her, that God would be her encouragement and that He would send her a new job soon, that would be great. Thanks so much for all your prayers; I know that they have made a difference. I am truly amazed by God's grace in my life.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Random Facts

Ok so I thought some of you might like to know some of the random things that are different from here goes:)
~ Toilets very from house to house. Mine has a knob on top that you pull up ( I couldn't figure it out at first, so it's the first question I asked Merry! Ya, great first question)
~Bathroom lights are usually on the outside of the door
~ You kiss people on both sides of the cheek ( I was only use to one in Ecuador)
~ The town of Camarma (about 5,000) has no gas station, but yet I saw a mechanic shop when I walked around today.
~ When you get gas (in a town 10 min. from us), you pump it yourself but then have to go pay in person. And its not like the gas stations where there's lots of food inside, it's just somewhere where a worker sits so that you can pay to get your gas.
~ Merry's microwave is older, so it's got a dial. The problem is most of the time the dial goes the opposite way it should, adding more time instead of less. So I have to watch it so I don't make things explode!
~ Lunch break is not until about 1:45
~ American coffee truly is weak!
~ Father's Day is March 19th
~When you have communion at church, you actually break a small load of bread and pass that around.
~ Stores close around 2 and don't open again until sometime after 5
Ok that's about all for now, I'll let you know if I pick up any other random facts:) Thanks for praying.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


It's Spanish for Sunday, but I put that there for another reason. This morning I went out to do street evangelism like last Sunday, and God opened the door for me to talk to this elderly man named Domingo. He is from Argentina but was visiting family. I asked him if he thought he was going to heaven, but he told me that he was much to big of a sinner. I tried to explain to him that we are all sinners...but I don't think he believed me. But he did promise to read the tract I gave him, and that had Romans3:23 in it. We made small talk, and he was very kind and very South American. He told me twice that I HAD TO TELL my future husband that he Domingo said that he is very blessed to have me as a companion to walk through life with... he is definitely from South America (they tend to say things like that). It made me laugh, but please pray for Domingo; it was heart breaking to hear him say he's too much of a sinner. I was also able to talk to high school girl for a while, which was a blessing. I can never say quite what I want to in Spanish when I am witnessing, but thankfully I'm not the one who has to save people.
And then for lunch Merry and I went to a missionary couple's house (where I made a piece of enchilada go flying of my plate!!). It was nice to meet another family, and then later in the afternoon I went on a walk in Camarma with the other student teacher here. I love walking here.
Tomorrow is my first day of teaching, so I would really appreciate your prayers. I am so thankful for all of you who have been praying.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Toledo is the old capital of Spain (Madrid became the capital in the 16th or 17th century), and today Merry gave us a little tour of the town. It's about an hour from the school. The way there was a bit longer because of traffic. They were doing construction on the railing, changing the railing to a type that wouldn't cause moder-cycle drivers' arms and legs to get cut off in an accident. Interesting fact for you:) After we got there, we (me, Merry, and two other girls from the school) walked around and went into this massive church. Everything was so detailed and ornate, like the choir loft. The chairs were carved out of wood, and each one was different. And then we just continued to walk and take pictures. The town had cobble-stone roads and very small alley ways. It was beautiful (I put some pictures on facebook if you want to see!) We stopped at the Cafe of the Nuns (because the Nuns are the ones who make everything). It was delicious! I really liked that bakery. We ended up eating at McDonald's for lunch... :( It was cheaper and faster, and actually they use fresh ingredients so it was better than the US. And then we fell asleep on the way home. A pretty good Saturday if you ask me :) Thanks for praying, and if you could, please pray or me and a small group of people as we go and try to share the gospel with people at the metro station ( I did this last Sunday too).Thanks!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What God's Teaching me

I've been good about telling you all the experiences God has been so good to give me, but I guess I haven't given much detail to what God has been teaching me. So here goes (I'll try not to be too wordy:) I am so thankful to be here in Spain, truly, but it has not been without challenges. I've only been here for a week, but it seems like longer because essentially I am in a completely different world. I'm not teaching yet (that starts Monday),so I have been observing. I've never minded that, but it's different this time. I observe classes, so I don't know the students that well. But it's not like I can just go home to my family or hang out with my friends, I have to start anew there too. Now I have moved plenty of times, but never by myself (yes I know this is only temporary, I think, but it's like a move at the moment). And Merry has been a huge blessing to me (the lady I am living with), but I've definitely had moments where I miss everyone (usually at night). Even today, instead of going for a walk after school, I came home to just spend time in prayer and in God's word because I know I needed it. And I read through the book of Ruth, my Dad's favorite and my middle name. I love that book, God has already used it a lot in my life, and He brought it to mind to read again today. I did and was just encouraged with seeing the sovereignty of God (oh and also something that I have been struggling with is the future because I don't know what God wants me to do, and that's been on my mind a lot too). Ruth clung to what God wanted her to do, and God continued to direct her as she did. She left her home permanently, and probably thought her future would simply entail being Naomi's companion, but God in His goodness had a different plan. (If you don't know the story of Ruth, you should definitely read it! Its only 4 chapters anyway). At the end, when Ruth and Boaz were married and had a son, the people's response was "Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may His name be renowned in Israel!" The people saw that the blessings Ruth and Boaz had were most definitely from God. That's the kind of life I want to lead, that people can clearl see the work of God, that all the praise really does go to Him. And guess what? I am a child of God just like Ruth was, so I can trust He will lead me. Now at the moment, I don't know what that is, and it does scare me at times, but if I keep the truths of God in my heart and mind, it's not scary I just have to remember who my Father is, and one day at a time, He's helping me lean more on and in Him.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Monday Prayer Night

Tonight Merry and I walked to the house of two of the teachers for prayer. It was actually a pretty brisk walk (It only got up to the high 30s today), but it was good to go. There were 4 single ladies (teachers and a secretary) and two wives of missionaries, and me. I admire these ladies for what they do. Single or married, their lives are not easy, but I was blessed to see how much they love the Lord and want to see people come to know Him. I'm getting sleepy, so that's about all I have for now. Thanks for praying, I need and appreciate it.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Today was (well still is) Sunday, and it has been a wonderful day so far. I went to church with Merry, a church that is going through some pretty rough times. The pastor just resigned last's sad, but God is doing a great work their still. They have two services because they have outgrown their building and Sunday school is in between. Merry and I went to the first service (that starts at 10), but I didn't actually go to the service. During the first service, there is a small group of young teens/adults that go to the metro station to hand out tracks while giving out free coffee. Merry decided that it would be a good idea for me to go ( a missionary was speaking, and she knew I had heard missionaries speak before). I was a little scared at first, but I am so glad Merry "suggested" it. I walked with a girl named Priscilla, and she befriended me instantly. She's actually from Brasil, but she's working here and loves it. I also met Amanda who is from Paraguy, and she is studying to be a flight attendent. Josea was also very kind (his wife is a flamingo dancer:), and Dante and Mariam are a couple that are studying at the Bible institute. So I met them today, and probably talked to them more than I tried to evangelize. But I did witness to one guy, he was a German on holiday He knew a little English, so I sort of got to witness to him; I don't know how much he understood. His name is Valentine, so if you think of it, say a prayer for him. I had a great time with this group. And then we went to Sunday school, and I forgot how much concentration it takes to listen in Spanish!!(Especially when the speaker is talking about Romans). I might do something sometime with the girls I met today; I kind of hope I do. But I have to admit it was almost odd for me today to be in a Spanish speaking church and not be in Ecuador. I kept expecting my friends from Cuenca to come out of the next room, but sadly they didn't. It's weird. I am usually in the US and miss Cuenca, or I am in Cuenca and miss the US, but today I miss both. At the same time, I loved being in church. I was thinking about visiting different churches, but now I don't know. It would be good to stay at the same place too, espcially if I can be involved in evangelism.....I guess Ill just pray about it for now. And then Merry took me to a really good chinese resturant (way better than anywhere I've been). The afternoon has been good, and I was able to watch my dad online as he preached!! That was a huge blessing too!!! So that was my Sunday, and I am very thankful for it. I am also thankful for your prayers. Hasta luego....

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Downtown Madrid

So today, even though it was rainy and probably in the 40s, I went to downtown Madrid with a few of the other teachers (Stephanie and Ruth). It was a wonderful time. We had to drive about a half an hour and then parked right by an entrance to the Metro (subway). The school I am at use to be right where we parked, but because of size issues the school moved to Camarma. So on the Metro we went. On the way there and back there were musicians that came in and out (technically illegal but they did it anyways). And then we just started walking around. It wasn't the best day for it, but it was still fun to be downtown. We did some shopping, and then we went to this bakery that has been around since the 1800s. I had the best pastry I have ever had in my whole life!!! And I really like Spanish coffee; it's very strong, but it's great. Actually, Starbucks is in Madrid but it hasn't been going so well here. The Spainiards like there coffee. So we just spent the afternoon shopping and walking. It was great to get to know Stephanie and Ruth better and how God has brought them here. Stephanie is a single teacher in the el. ed who is here long term, and Ruth is middle school/ high school and is going back to the states after this year because she was only here for 2 years. I will try to put some pictures on facebook so you can see what it was like. Thanks for your prayers!! I am excited for tomorrow too because I am going to church with Merry; I will probably visit other churches during my time here just to get an idea of what it's like. For now that's all. Thanks again for all your prayers.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Rain in Spain

Ha, ya I know it rhymes. Anyways, today was Friday and another day of observing. I have met most of the teachers by now ( I don't know that I remember all of their names, but Im working on it:). During the staff meeting, I volunteered for an all-nighter to help with for the high school next Friday. I figured it would be a good way to get to know some of the students better (I will just need lots of coffee:) I really like this school and just the way they are set up and run. We had chapel this morning, and one of the father's of the students performed a biblical monologue that was very moving. I continued to observe, and then lunch was provided by the seniors' parents ( a fundraiser that they do for their senior trip). During lunch I sat by one of the science teachers, Mel. He is an elderly man, and he and his wife have been here in Spain for 17 years (they are going home after this year). It was wonderful to hear how God had worked in his life. He and his wife had been interested in missions early on, but there mission board said they needed more experience. So they ended up teaching elsewhere, and then the Lord blessed them with a family and ministry....but later on in life God opened up the door for them to come here. Everyone has a story of how God brought them here; I love that. And then this afternoon I finished my bulletin board! Definitely not perfect, but a work in progress. It was a rainy day, and Merry and I drank some coffee (with milk as the Spaniards do, for as Merry said, when in Spain, do as the Spaniards!) and I think I distracted her too much from her lesson planning, but we had a good talk. Oh, did you know that there is a Cuenca in Spain?!?!? That's where the name originated (Cuenca is the city my family and I lived in in Ecuador). There a different places that Merry wants to take me, but with teaching I am not sure how much sight seeing I will get to do. Actually I have kind of a random prayer request. I will be going to a conference with the teachers in Germany over break, but it doesn't take all of break. I was talking with some of the teachers, and they said I should travel as much as I can. I would love love LOVE to go t London if possible. But I won't go unless I have someone go with me or have a missionary family that could meet me there ( I don't really know of anyone but I might ask some of the teachers at the school). In the scheme of life, it's not that big of a deal because my purpose here is to teach and be in the ministry here. But it would be great if something like that would work out. I will just leave that in God's hands. Merry and I watched a movie tonight, and then she showed me some pictures of the running of the bulls (it was in September, so I missed it!!)
Tomorrow morning I am going downtown to Madrid with a couple of the teachers, but its suppose to be rainy and in the 40's tomorrow, so that could be interesting:) But I am excited to go.
For now, that's all. Thanks for praying

Thursday, March 4, 2010

1st Day of School

So today I spent my first full day at ECA (evangelical christian academy). Schedules are a little different here. The first class doesn't start until 9 and class ends at 4. My cooperating teacher is a morning person and is usually out the door by 7:15. I on the other hand was only up for about 15 minutes by that time. But it was nice; I made my coffee and read my Bible, and before I new it it was 8:20!! Merry told me to be there by 8:45, so I rushed to get ready ( I live right around the corner from the school). The class periods are 50 minutes, and they don't break for lunch till bout 1:40 (that's a very Spaniard way, they eat later than we do). So I observed Merry's 12th grade class, and then the 10th grade class (which I will be teaching as well but it's with another teacher. And then I observed 6th grade math, a class of 7 6th grade boys (and one of them has a Bristish accent, I love the diversity of the school!) And then I went to Merry's 9th grade class and finished by observing 6th grade ancient history. I ate lunch with the teachers; everyone has such different backgrounds. The piano teacher is from Korea, the other teachers have been MK's all's amazing to see how God has brought all of these teachers here. And the rest of the afternoon I started working on a bulliten board for Merry...and it's not done yet (bulliten boards are not exactly my forte but Im working on it!). I will only be teaching English, so that's a blessing. Every Monday and Friday we have a staff meeting before school, so tomorrow's my first meeting. And then on Saturday I think I am going to be able to go into the city of Madrid with a couple of the other teachers, so Im excited for that!And tonight Merr and I walked around Camarma some and got some really good break for supper and watched a Murder She Wrote (an old mystery show I use to watch growing up). And now I have a few things to finish up before I go to bed, but thanks so much for praying. I am just starting to get to know people, so you can definitely pray for relationships. I'll be in touch soon. Hasta Luego.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Today was my day to adjust so it wasn't too busy or anything. I slept until about 10 and did some things on the computer, and then I went on a walk around town. I live in a city called Camarma, and it's not a huge town, but from what Merry tells me (the lady I am living with), it has grown almost double in size lately. I live probably a 20-30 min from the city of Madrid. It was fun to be able to walk around and see everything. The church has a stork nest on top of it's steeple, and I found a red brick path that I might like to do some walking on (or just thinking since it's full of benches). After that I went to the school to see if I could be any help. I ended up mounting some pictures on the wall and helped Merry with a couple things. Then we came home and made supper and watched a movie (Merry said she needed a break:). So that's been my day today, nothing too eventful. Tomorow I am doing my first day of observing; I would definitely appreciate your prayers as I start to meet the students and the teachers. I want to be involved with the people during the time I am here, so I am excited and a little nervous for tomorrow. But that's all for today. Thanks for praying.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


At the moment it is 5:18 in the afternoon but my body thinks it is 10:18 at night.... so I am a little tired to say the least (so if something doesn't make sense, sorry!!).
This was the first time I traveled by myself, and it wasn't too bad. On my first flight I was able to talk with this elderly man for the whole time (45 min.). He is a farmer, and we talked about many things, and I was able to share the Gospel with him and give him a track! Praise the Lord. And then on my left from MN to NY I sat by this man who use to be an opera singer in NY...he has traveled a lot so we had some good conversations as well. I didn't get to share the Gospel with him, but I did give him a tract that he might read...I pray he did. He was a great blessing as I had to hurry to my next flight because he asked everyone to please move aside because I needed to get through ( I didn't want to be rude but God put someone in my life to help me:)
But then the craziness set in. We were late getting in, and then I had to go and get my boarding pass from the desk and then wait for the shuttle...once in the shuttle we jerked to a halt in the middle of the trip. All of us on the shuttle weer a bit confused, and then 10 seconds later a plane went right by us....ha we were then all very thankful for this sudden stop. Then I ran to my gate ( I felt like the family on Home Alone) and the lady at the gate asked "Are you Hannah?" I said yes and got on the plane (I heard the lady say "ok you're last passenger is here now"). God was good and held the plane. And I had prayed for maybe a window sit by myself since this was an overnight flight, and guess what? God answered that prayer too.
I was picked up at the airport by a couple who works at the school. They took me to a city outside of Madrid called Camrama (or something like that). Once I arrived the headmaster of the school showed me around the school and gave me a tour. The lady I am staying with lives right around the corner from the school, so once her classes were done, she brought me to her appartment so I could get settled. And then I went with her to do some grocery shopping (which kind of reminds me of shopping in Ecuador). Now I am just trying to stay awake because I am really tired, but I know that it is better if I wait till a little later to sleep.
I am excited, although very tired and a little overwhelmed, but God made it clear He wants me here! So I will keep you up too date with what He's doing. Thanks for praying.

Sunday, February 28, 2010


It's crazy. I've been talking about doing student teaching overseas since my freshman year in college, and I've been talking about Spain since my sophomore year...and in about 6 hours I am headed to the airport! It really hasn't sunk in, and to be honest, I have no idea what to expect. But I am excited, excited to see what God has for me to learn and experience. I am sure there will be hard days, but I was really encouraged by Pastor's message today. God is not only the God who sees, but the God who cares. If you think of it, you could pray for me tomorrow as I travel that maybe God would open up the door to share with someone I meet on the plane or in the airport ( I'm not as good as my dad in striking up conversations with people, but I want to be willing:) Thanks so much for your prayers, and I will try to keep you all as updated as possible! For now, I'm off on an adventure.......

Saturday, February 20, 2010

9 days.......

Adventure. When I was little, my sister and I had quite the imaginations (ha just ask my mom!). I loved to pretend. Now my adventures usually consisted of acting out the most resent book or movie my sister had watched (like pretending we were in huge bubbles that could protect us as we traveled to an underwater city or flying across the world on horses or really big eagles), but I think I still carry that imagination. As I get ready to leave for Spain, I have moments of pure excitement and moments of sheer fear. A lot of it deals with my perspective, which was greatly tested this last week.
To make a really long story, a week or so ago I found this bump on the back of my head that was causing a lot of pain. I missed a day of school to go get it checked out; I had a cyst on the back of my head that was causing a constant headache. It didn't go away for a while, and I had to go back into the doctor. He told me it was probably infected. So I was put on antibiotics, a muscle relaxer (which I only took once because it totally knocks me out), and told to go see a dermatologist. The medicine started to help, and then I ended up going into the dermatologist who took an unnaturally huge needle to drain the infection and inject some medicine (all is well now:). Now I don't share that story just to share it. God really used that in my life. I had some days where I really struggled being excited about this trip. I mean I'm going all by myself somewhere where I don't know anyone...basically, I got scared. God in His kindness was showing me how much my perspective can and will effect me. I let physical pain and imaginative fears permeate my mind. As I spent time in prayer and God's Word, He reminded me of who He is ( Eph.1-3 have to be some of my favorite chapters). I prayed God will help me see things the way He wants, and once again I started to really look forward to this ministry opportunity He has for me. Im excited to see what He has to teach me. Im sure there will be hard days, but God has promised to never leave me; He is enough.
I've been going through Exodus in my devotions, and I was really struck with how Moses prayed."Now therefore if I have found favor in Your sight, please show me now Your ways, that I may know You in order to find favor in Your sight." 33:13. That has kind of become my prayer for this trip, that I would know God more so that I can please Him with the life He has given.
So that's what God's been doing in my life, and I am genuinely excited to take off in 9 days.

Monday, February 8, 2010

3 Weeks before I leave

OK so I haven't actually left for Spain yet, but I will be in three weeks!! I am so excited, and a little nervous to be honest. God has been so faithful in providing for the funds and everything that is needed for this ministry trip (which many of you have aided in), and I am sure He has many more things to teach me.
I'm getting closer to finishing my first part of student teaching, and it has been such a great experience. I can't believe that it's almost done.
Well this first post is pretty short, I'm just learning how to get this whole blog thing set up! But I will be sure to use it as I am in Madrid so you can hear (or I guess read) what God is doing!