Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving Week in Pictures

A week ago we officially became homeless...sort of. We moved out of our house on Sat., Nov. 22, spoke in Easton, PA on Sunday, and immediately began driving westward to spend time with friends and family for Thanksgiving week, ultimately to arrive in Colorado for our cross-cultural training. So here are some highlights from the past week in pictures:

We visited B.J.'s grandparents in western KY for the first time in a long time.

Wednesday evening afforded us the occasion for dinner with some good friends from college. Matt (center) was B.J.'s college roommate and, along with his wife Rachel, hosted us for our week in Wilmore, KY.

We simply couldn't visit Wilmore without retracing some of our steps at our alma mater, Asbury College...oh, the nostalgia.

Thanksgiving was spent with B.J.'s sister, Ashleigh, and her growing family. Liam (the cool guy in the middle) has a little sibling on the way!

We arrived in Denver on Friday evening and were greeted by some lovely snowfall! We're staying with Rachel's uncle, aunt, and cousins as we await our cross-cultural training a little south of here Dec. 1-19.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

NYC Visa Trip!

On Monday (Nov. 10) we made a little trip to Spain...the Spanish Consulate in New York City, that is, which actually is property of Spain. We were able to apply for our residence visas (it has to be done in person at the Consulate), which has been a huge answer to prayer. Let us tell you more.

Last Tues. (Nov. 4), we knew that we wanted to apply by the end of November, so B.J. checked the availability of appointments at the Consulate (we figured that there would be plenty of open appointments for the end of the month). To our grim dismay, nothing was open until the middle of December! We will be in Colorado for our cross-cultural training most of December and then with family for the holidays, which meant that we wouldn't be able to apply until the end of December or beginning of January. Needless to say, we were a bit frazzled and disappointed, since we knew it would take at least 2 months to receive the visas after we applied; as far as we could see, this wrecked our schedule to be in Spain by sometime in January. So we decided to pray (funny how that came after frazzlement and fretting), asking God to work out what He wanted in His time...

After a night of election coverage and sleep, B.J. checked again for appointments on Wed. morning, wondering if anything could possibly have opened up before the end of this month. Lo and behold, a 15 minute appointment for Mon., Nov. 10th was available, and we saw God's hand at work on our behalf! So we made triple copies of all of our certified documents (killed a few trees in the process, we think) and headed off to the Big Apple, thankful for the open appointment but afraid that we might not have everything we needed (which could have meant that we would have to make another visa appointment--we had lots of people praying for us at this point). After a train ride from New Jersey, a short subway trip uptown, and a brief elevator ride up 30 stories, we arrived at the Spanish Consulate with plenty of time for our 10:15 appointment. Our interviewer, Hector, was super kind, and everything went better than we could have expected!

Now we simply have to wait for the Spanish government to process our paperwork, and hopefully we'll have our visas in hand sometime in January. Praise God for His goodness to us over the past couple weeks!

Below are a few shots from our day in the city:

Us in front of the building where the Spanish Consulate is located.

We found a Spanish restaurant where we had a lunch of ensalada (salad), patatas bravas (spicy potatoes), and bocadillo de jamón serrano (Spanish cured ham sandwich).
One of Rachel's high school classmates from Spain works as a sous-chef in Manhattan, and we got to visit him for a few minutes during his break.
The New Year's Eve ball was on display at Macy's on 34th St...we were actually a bit disappointed because it looks so much bigger on TV!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Ordination & Commissioning Weekend!

Above you'll find a slideshow of a few photos taken throughout our ordination and commissioning weekend. In a word, our time was amazing. We had family in from Spain, South Carolina, Missouri, Ohio and Illinois, and many more local friends and loved ones joined us for our big day. We are humbled and privileged that our church and our loved ones have acknowledged our gifting and calling to serve as church planting missionaries in Spain. Most of all, we are grateful to God for giving us life, our calling, and for meeting with us in a profound way on Sunday afternoon. There's more to come, so we'll simply let the photos share some of the highlights from the weekend.