In Spain – Week Two

Week Two was October 25-31.

We stayed this extra week to look after things that relate to my work as regional administrator and to have two days off. I did a lot of computer and email work, wrote reports, met with each missionary family, met with them as a group for their weekly staff meeting, met with the Bundys and Gonzalezes (you will remember that Antonio Gonzalez is the pastor of the Hoyo church), and spent a lot of time with Mark and Annette Cintron.

Mark and Annette are exploring whether God is calling them to come to Madrid as missionaries, so we had a lot to talk about.

I will report on a few of our adventures.

We waited in line for over an hour to tour the Royal Palace in Madrid. The line stretched past the Cathedral de la Almudena, Cathedral of the City, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, who is the patron saint of Madrid.

Street musicians are common, so as we waited in line, we were treated to music by this man.

This is the courtyard of the Royal Palace,which has 2,800 rooms.

No photos were allowed, so I can’t show you the gold and silver, the tapestries, grand staircases, giant chandeliers and the dining room that seats 140 dinner guests. The table was set. The king does not live here but in another smaller palace. This one is used for official business and state occasions.

Madrid abounds in street performers. This goat clacks his mouth at passersby and nods his head vigorously when you put a donation in the can, and the person inside sometimes speaks to you. We laughed repeatedly at the goat’s antics.

And how the passersby stared at this character!

We walked for hours, and of course the exercise was good for us, but I did see other possibilities.

One day we and the Cintrons took a guided bus trip to Avila and Segovia. Much of the day was rainy, but not all of it.

One of the finest remnants of Europe’s medieval era, Avila is a walled city.

Just outside the wall is St. Vincent’s Basilica, in the Romanesque style. As a child or teen, he and his two sisters were martyred by the Romans.

The city is best noted for St. Teresa, a Carmelite nun, mystic, reformer and writer. Here is the church and convent named after her.

Outside the city stands this simple memorial to Teresa.

Here is one of Teresa’s famous writings:

Let nothing trouble you; Let nothing make you afraid.
All things pass away; God never changes
Patience obtains everything.
He who has God finds he lacks nothing.
God alone is enough.

As we left Avila, I had many thoughts about Catholic and evangelical piety and the meaning of living in spiritual union with Christ.

From here we ride to Segovia. Our tour guide gives every speech in Spanish, English and French. How I admired his facility in languages!

A distant view of the city and cathedral.

Left standing from the work of the Romans is the ancient aqueduct. Such workmanship!

Here are close-ups of the cathedral.

Our final stop in Segovia was to the Alcazar (Fortress or Castle), now owned by the military.

I suppose it is obvious that the above shot is of a ceiling.

The chapel contains this art piece of the martyr Santiago, St. James, the son of Zebedee in the Gospels. Both he and Teresa of Avila are the patron saints of Spain.

This completes our tour of Spain. My thinking was challenged and expanded, and my heart was touched deeply through the experiences we had there.

I close with one more image – from an ad on the wall of the Madrid airport. This has no connection to anything in the blog above. It is just that I like it.

Farewell. Run the good race of serving the Lord Jesus Christ.

I suppose

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