Saturday, August 29, 2009

faux journal, day three

dear faux journal,
after we went down to the market for another pint of blueberries this morning, we caught the bus to get to the hotel in Wisla.
As we were riding in the bus I saw apple trees everywhere - - in backyards, in public parks, next to bus stops . . . why did no one ever tell me that lovely little detail about Poland before? who would have guessed?
p.s my kids sure are cheerful travelers; I'm thankful for that!

Friday, August 28, 2009

faux journal, day two

dear faux journal
Krakow in Spanish is Krakovia; I think that's much nicer than Krakow, don't you? Joshua used his mad, mad internet skills to find a three bedroom apartment in the heart Krakovia where we will stay for two nights before we head to the conference; there was the sweetest little market that set up every day in a little plaza just down the street from our Polish summer home (the way I like to think of it). they had blueberries! BLUEBERRIES! Eating blueberries wasn't the only exciting thing we did in the city today; we also:
  • managed to find and buy cooking oil using only hand motions and sound effects to communicate.
  • took a ride in a huge hot air balloon
  • took a boat tour down the river that runs through the city, and mooch food and drink off of some unsuspecting locals (Selma)
  • saw about five men that looked my Papi
  • bought an umbrella and survived a downpour
I need to go and spend a couple of hours ironing all of our wet clothes so that they dry before our 3 hour bus ride to the conference tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

an American, still getting used to summer life in Spain

Wednesday, past midnight

dear parents of the neighborhood 10 year olds,
if you are looking for your kids, they are in the plaza behind our bedroom window.
hope this helps,
your friendly Neighbor,

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

faux journal, day one

Dear faux journal,
day one - - travel day. we met an Italian man in the airport today. cheeky Selma kept running over to him and patting him on the leg and then running away. When Malachai came back from the bathroom, he apparently thought the man could be trusted too and sat next to him - - and asked him the scoop on European football - - which team's stats had just been posted on the TV? and who did the man root for? and, guess what! we are going to Poland. . . but just for a week because we live in Spain . . .

sometimes I feel freaked out about how quickly my kids warm up to total strangers; but mostly I think it's nice.
the Italian man (who spoke excellent Spanish) eventually came over to where the rest of us were sitting and sorted out the details of his conversation with Malachai. I gave him the general outline about who we are and what we do, and why were were headed to Poland.
"so what do you think?" I asked.
I was surprised at how humbly and candidly this man expressed dissatisfaction with religion as he knew it, but also a tremendous disquiet about the afterlife. I wanted to hear more about him; I wanted to ask him more questions, but we were called to board our flight.

Well now, I know I am a young punk. but I DO have a perfect hope and peace about my life after death; I had to, had to say something before we left . . .
"don't stop looking" I begged him. "don't give up! pick up you bible and scour it!"
and that was that.
and I am thankful that God's work in this man's life goes beyond what I have to offer.

love, N

p.s. we got fed nice little sandwiches both legs of our trip. Luftansa, we think you are super!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

hey, phew.
we've been to Poland and come back again.
the EFCA organizes a missionary summer camp of sorts every year or two, and that's where we've been.
the trip to Poland started with a train to Madrid where took a flight to Frankfurt. In Frankfurt we caught a flight to Krakow. Joshua (good man!) sat next to the boys on this flight, and Rachel and I sat across the aisle from them along side of a pleasant woman from Barcelona; Rachel and I grilled her on all of Barcelona's hot spots - - where to eat, where to shop, where to find Spain's best quirky cute shoes.
We asked her about her trip to Poland and tried to explain why exactly we are living in Spain and why exactly we were traveling to Poland. we told her about how we love Jesus, his world, and his church; we told her about our Christian community in Pamplona - and how we study the bible to better understand what Christ's church should look like, how we are willing to abandon tradition for tradition sake, and how we are trying every day of every week to live out what we see the church to be in the bible.
we told her how we wonder if Europe as a whole is rejecting Christianity partly because they are mistaken about who Christ really was and about what he called his church to be. we told her how excited we were to be going to this conference to engage with other Christians who are taking seriously their responsibility to communicate the true gospel as well as working hard to understand their respective cultures so as to communicate that good gospel in a way that would be heard and understood.

we said our inevitable good-by's at the end of the flight, and told her we wished we would be flying back together so that we could hear her evaluation of Polish food at the end of her three week tour (she suspected it would be fairly bland partly due to the fact that they don't use olive oil)
and for your enjoyment, over this next week, I'll be writing about some of my favorite bits of our Poland trip.
if things aren't too crazy around here.
we'll see . . .

Friday, August 07, 2009

a day full of blessings

Thank you, Malachai for making you and Josu a snack while I was taking a nap this afternoon (raisins on butter was not a bad choice!)
Thank you Josu, for getting down from the dinner table three times to kiss me (you give the sweetest 3 year old kisses, my sweet boy!)
Thank you, Selma for waving and blowing kisses to everyone we passed at the grocery store (it made my shopping trip a lot more enjoyable!)
Thank you, Joshua for dancing thriller through the kitchen window for me today (you are!)