So we have officially been "missionary candidates" for one year, speaking in churches, retreats, camps, conferences and anywhere else we've been invited. Throughout all of our experiences this past year, we've learned something mildly disturbing: missionaries have a bad reputation for being incredibly boring! We've learned that some people skip church worship services on the days we've been invited to come and speak because they don't want to be bored by the missionaries. We've been told straightforwardly by pastors and congregants alike that they were a bit concerned before having us speak because of the boring reputation missionaries carry, but they were later relieved that we were actually passionate and engaging.
This is not at all to pat ourselves on the back but only to say that it is a great shame that missionaries have such a bad rap in some circles. We think part of our goal as missionaries right now is to curb this reputation since, after all, we love what God is calling and leading us to in Spain. People, especially today's generation, don't merely want to hear about our calling or about the spiritual needs of the Spaniard; they need to sense our deep conviction as we share with them the mission God has laid out before us.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Just a couple weeks ago, we received an official acceptance letter from the ECMI Spain team leader, Francis Arjona. More exciting than the simple fact of receiving this letter was the request contained in it: that the Whitakers arrive in Spain by January 2009! Of course, for that request to become reality, we still need 1/3 of our monthly support to be committed and begin coming in. Even so, with 2/3 of our support rolling in and the official request that we are wanted and needed by the ECMI Spain team, the dreams and hopes that we've been speaking about for the past year or so are beginning to become reality. Praise God!