Saturday, September 26, 2009

Roman visitors (kind of)

we met Brian and Sarah Bennetch about seven years ago in France at our first ever missionary conference; they were, at that time, church planting in Belgium. Over the course of the past seven years, we have had continued sporadic interaction with them- - through emails, at conferences, women's retreats, or the West Europe city team leader meetings.
This week Brian and Sarah actually came to us in Pamplona, and we had two whole personal Bennetch days! They arrived on Wednesday morning so we towed them right along with us to our local coffee shop,
and introduced them to everyone along the way;
They are Americans living in Rome? my friend Ana asked.
"you know what we're doing here in Pamplona?" I told her - - "trying to rethink religion and tradition and the church according to the bible? Well, that's what they are doing, but in Rome"
"ahaaaa" Ana said. she kind of gets us (we talk a lot)

and we took them downtown, past the bull stadium, through the narrow cobblestone streets of downtown, into Pamplona's central plaza, and then up to the Caballo Blanco - - a cafe on the top of one of Pamplona's ancient citadel walls that overlooks the northern part of the city. We ordered some good Spanish basics and talked, and watched the boys play futbol and dance the robot, and then watched Selma convince a complete stranger to read a storybook to her
It was so good to spend time with Brian and Sara . . . they so clearly love the Lord, his church and his world. They have hurt and been blessed and grown over the course of life and ministry. . . so we listened attentively as they shared stories about their marriage and family and 16 years of ministry in Brussels and about their recent transition to Rome, and we enjoyed as they probed into our lives and ministry and asked us lots of good questions like:
what would you say has been your most fruitful time of ministry in Pamplona and why?
what were the biggest lessons that you guys learned through that "year of pain" that you went through a couple of years ago?

they listened to our answers. . . and shared wise input, and asked more questions
you know . . . the church being the church!
I think next time we should plan for three days instead of two . . .


JeriAnn said...

soooo jealous that your got your own special sarah and brian time but also sooooo thankful that you did!!!!

Gabrielle said...

good times with fellow believers. by the way, why didn't we go to that cafe? time.

Naomi Smith said...

Gab, we totally WOULD have taken you to it if we had known about it - - apparently it's one of Pamplona's best known hang out spots, and we haven't gone until just recently (I feel pretty lame) time!

darcie said...

this is the best kind of refreshment, isn't it;
looks like autumm has come to Pamplona-LEAVES!

sarah b said...

It was such a huge blessing to be with your team and family! We are still smiling. Thanks for your hospitality and welcoming us into your lives with open arms. Thank you Jesus for sweet fellowship.

Amy Richey said...

yes, sooo jealous also! Glad you all had fun!!!