Monday, March 26, 2012

God's given opportuties...

A few Mondays ago in CaFE y TEologia, Paola, one of the girls who attends, threw out a thought. LEAP OF FAITH. What does this mean? We chewed on this thought for a little while. Then she made a comment about needing to write down what happens in our walk with God. Here it goes; my prayer is that one of these stories will bless you today!

This last weak. (March 19-25)

God, thankyou for the opportunities that You have given me to talk to people about You! I am sorry that I have not taken advantage of all of them! Please help me grow in faith and trust in You!

Living day to day... God has given me two opportunities to talk with two young ladies on the metro on two separate opportunities about Him. We talked about forgiveness, commitment, and radicalness. I do not want to pretend that I made all of the right decisions. I feel as though I said some things incorrectly, but my hope is that the Holy Spirit will work on their minds and hearts- that He will change the "estupidezes" that I may have said into a searing flame to bring them to Him.

This last Wednesday, God had placed it on my heart to buy some bread or provide for someone in need. I was walking to class in the morning, praying that God would show me who He wanted me to give to, when a man literally walked up to me and asked me for money. It could not have been more clear! I ran into two issues, however. I only had a 20 Euro and 6 centimo on me. Do I give him the 20? I said to him " What I can do is buy you some food." He aswered back with "WHAT?!?" So I asked him what he wanted the money for. He replied that he needed a place to sleep tonight. So I (please forgive me Lord!) told him that I could only give him the 6 centimos that I had. Thankyou Lord for answering my prayer so quickly! Help me to learn to give my all. Should I given the 20? Would he have used it incorrectly?

One thing that I know, I have learned many lessons!

Friday night, God gave me the opportunity to share about His compassion and character with the kids at JPC. Thankyou Lord! It went wonderfully! Of course there are always a few things that go wrong (that cause you to laugh later, such as throwing a plastic cup at someone to make them be quiet ;)), but all in all, it ran smoothely. My prayer is that Jesus would draw the kids closer to Him so they can experience His sweet nature. That they may grow in their relationship with Him and through mimicking His character, they would draw others to Him!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

JPC... Juventud para Cristo

    Here Below are Pictures of the Prejuvenil Campamento at Berea in which they allowed me to take part as a "monitora" or couselor.
During the first Velada or evening, we had a game night!! This included:  
  • Dressing up some of your team members in cardboard.
  •  Getting as many signatures as possible on your foot.

  •  And popping the balloons off of the feet of those not on your team

I got to be score keeper :).

The next morning, we (the counselors) woke up early the next day in order to have a devotional as the leadership group before waking up the kids. After this and prayer, we woke the kids up around 8:45 for the “Buenos dias.” This was the early morning game time before breakfast to wake us up. This morning, it consisted of a few songs as a group (gorilla, and chipi chipi). This got us all moving and ready to eat! After breakfast, we had the first service in which the song leaders (Isaac and his wife Nancy) made a song called Nivel II and in which Isaac preached. He spoke on what Nivel II truly meant for Christians, giving the examples of Moses, Joseph, Paul, and Schumy (fictitious character). He spoke of the difference between our owning our own decisions and giving them completely to Christ. We then spoke about this to our mini-groups. I was blessed to co-lead a group with Joel, one of the youth pastors (Our group: Nerrea, Ana, Adam, Ruben, Nico, and Mircea). The kids in our group were pretty quiet but they were very sincere!
After this service, we ran outside for group games! Here we played the game of Super Berea Bros. (you can imagine what is entailed J). Brew and Jordi set up this group game to be like the Super Mario Bros. video game, filled with levels, lives, and coins to collect. The team that saved the princess and had the most points won. The adventures and challenges ranged from making a cookie travel from your forehead to your mouth with using only your facial muscles all the way to balancing 3 cans of Coke on top of a basketball. If I had to guess, I believe that all the kids had a blast!

  • Playing "el gusanito ciego" or the blind worm in which all of the team members have to have their eyes closed (obviously this is not working so well for them) and the last member or tail of the gusanito has to lead everyone through a maze by tapping the shoulder of the person in front of him (tap the right shoulder for right, left for left and so on).

  •  Balancing the cans on the basketball
  •  Rescuing the princess!! (Which was really the head youth pastor in disguise. It teaches them not to believe in first appearances as well ;) .)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sick of studying?

Nope, just very literally sick! I had my first case of the stomach flu yesterday right in the middle of class! Not fun! Thankfully, teachers and little old men on the street are very understanding!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The wonderful tales of the South- Andalucia

I was very blessed to be able to take an educational trip down to the southern portion of Spain to study the art and architecture of some of the most famous buildings in the world J (Ok, maybe not all of them are world famous, but they seem like they should be.)
Our First stop Granada.

Granada is a beautiful, cold city nestled in a little valley surrounded by mountains. It was first named after Pomegranates that come from the area as the decorative “do not drive here” posts show. Besides being serving the purpose of protecting the civilians from crazy drivers, these iron pomegranate-topped posts serve the ironic multipurpose of tripping those very civilians that they are supposed to protect! Thankfully, after 4 of us tripped, we learned to look down when we walked.
Granada is known for two things that we were able to see: the Albayzin (old Arabic neighborhood) and the Alhambra (old Caliphate palace). These pictures will depict our time there. My favorite part of these two tours, the color! The Mosaics and oranges everywhere held incredible color!
                                                                  The Albayzin

The Alhambra with the Sierra Nevadas behind it :).. breathtaking!

This was some AMAZING tea :).

These were all taken at the Alhambra
The Main Patio (to impress the Ambassadors :))
The Patio of the Princesses

The Summer Gardens.

The next morning we were able to visit the Cartuja (monastery) and the Cathedral of Granada in order to compare Renaissance and Baroque styles. The easiest way I can depict the difference between these two styles is by having you think of the style that my mom loves (most likely your mom as well ;))- structured, clean-cut, tranquil- versus the state of the room of very busy college student who does not care about cleaning his room- shocking when you first walk in, but you when you stay looking, you will find treasures. Here are some pictures of each of those.
The sun rising behind the Cartuja (monastery).

 The Cathedral.

            After a quick lunch we jumped onto the bus for a 3 hour ride to our next location- Sevilla.
The first night in Sevilla was INCREDIBLE! We walked across the whole city to find our way to the river. We were able to walk along the riverwalk and actually ran into a band that was practicing. The horn, trumpets, and drums made this trip worth it all by themselves!
            After that fun, we woke up the next morning to go visit the Roman ruins of Italica. They were no where near the beauty of the mayan ruins ;) but they were gorgeous! The decoration of the individual floors with covered in mozaics or “azulejos”. Can you imagine living in a house like that?!?
The entrance

The Theatre/ coliseum

a floor

This floor had several of the Roman gods on it. The one depicted here is Jupiter/Zeus.

            Right after leaving Italica and having some lunch, we went to the Palacio de los Reales or Alcazar. This palace is still in use by the royal family when they are in town, but belongs to the city of Sevilla. It is known for it’s Mudejar style of art and architecture, which is a architecture done by the Arabics for the Christian or Jewish people. As you can see in the photos, the style of the art follows suit.

            Speaking of the Palacio de los Reales, they had pavos reales (peacocks) as their pets. When we first walked around, we only ran into a few females, but after taking a tour of the palace and walked around for a little bit, we ran into a lady feeding the birds. She fed them bread as all sorts of birds including several male and female peacocks flocked towards her. She very kindly offered us some bread to feed them as well. J We happily accepted, and then had two funny things happen. A friend was “attacked” by a duck (it just got too close) as she was trying to feed the peacocks. Another friend and I told her not to be afraid and that nothing would happen to her just one minute before I fed a male peacock. That in itself was fine, but then another male peacock got too close. Lo and behold the fought and one took flight, hitting me in the face with its tail feathers as it tried to escapeJ!

After escaping the peacocks and the maze in the Palacio Alcazar, we walked around the old “barrio Judio”, and we able to get lost for a little while. The streets we filled with little shops, flowers, and white and yellow walls everywhere. Thankfully, we did not stay lost for long! We stumbled upon our very own “Don Juan” J.

We then walked around a little bit more, before finding a little restaurant and eating a full course meal. My meal was a pretty typical one in Spain, consisting of bread, vegetable soup, tortilla espanola (like a potato quiche), and flan. My friend, on the other hand, because she was not very hungry, ordered just dessert. This is what appeared!
We finally (after getting lost only one more time) meandered our way back to the hotel for a good night of studying Arabic/Mudejar Art and sleeping.

Next Morning- Sevilla Cathedral.
The Cathedral in Sevilla is one of the biggest Gothic Cathedrals in the world, if it is not the biggest. Here we studied some of the beautiful Gothic Architecture, but to confuse poor little students like us, there is a little mix of every type of art and Architecture inside (even including an Arabic tower (Giralda) and patio).

This is a picture from the giralda :).

We are so blessed!
 After finishing our tour of the tower, we all decided to go out to eat. Well, in all sincerity, we split up into smaller groups and just happened to meet up again. The poor people who had to figure out how to get us all to fit!   
Cordoba: The city of three religions.

After our free afternoon we made our way to Cordoba- the most magical of the three cities. I don't know what made me like it so much. The part of the town that we stayed in was right across from the Mesquita. It was old, beautiful and quiet! I think what made it the most incredible was the sunset over the river as we arrived. As beautiful as buildings are, God's creating always wins!  Isn't it beautiful!!
The next morning we saw the Mesquito and the Jewish synagogue. I will let the pictures tell the story.


The Mesquita was a big mix of Arabic and Barroque styles. They  were both EXQUISITE apart, but together? It was too much! It was almost as if there was the Mosque, then someone dropped a Cathedral inside. It was shocking! But honestly, even though I disliked the mix, the arquitecture was beautiful, filled with horseshoe arches, color, and different building materials. Apparently the people who built the Mosque used some of the old Roman ruins as building material. The whole mosque was filled with collumns of different colors and sizes. It was so pretty!

Then followed the Jewish neighborhood and Synagogue. The Jewish neighborhood was filled with flowers- even in the winter! Our Professor said that in the spring they have a festival of the flowers where the whole neighborhood is completely filled! People then go and visit everyones patios, they eat a little, drink a little, sing a little, and just have fun together.

This is Miamonides- the Jewish philosopher who is also our professors twin!

This was the Synagogue. It was a tiny place, but filled with character!