I didn’t need to know

27 02 2011

OK – so after my hissy fit yesterday – God is very gracious. Over the last two days, totally independent of the confusion of dates I’ve been rebuked, encouraged and reminded of God’s character by Christians who’ve spoken His wisdom to me.

Calmer and less riled, I sit knowing that nothing is out of His hands and all happens for our salvation. Now I get Salvation capital ‘S’ but each thing is a part of his plan for our small ‘s’ salvation, everyday from ourselves, death and sin – our sanctification.


Who needs to know?

26 02 2011

Uggghhh! I’m struggling today. There is something happening in a weekend or two that  had no idea about until yesterday and that totally throws out all my plans. It’s just another example of this frustrating lack of information that I often struggle with her in the church life in Córdoba.

The other week, after being here 18months in Córdoba and in the youth group a year, I found out that fortnightly there is a prayer meeting of all the youth. And I found out the week before last. Admittedly, it may have been mentioned in my first month here – but  have’t heard of it since.

Sometimes this lack of communication is because everyone just knows. And I guess the naturally way to find out doesn’t quite work for me because I’m coming in kind of sideways. Partly Marina assures me that the combined churches just hadn’t pinned down a date until a week ago

But I was really hurt and frustrated about this last piece of news because I’m in a fairly difficult situation now. But it’s more than that, I’m in a cultural clash.

For me, Information is a matter of care. For me, to keep someone informed says a lot of things… it says

  • you are important (you in the inner circle),
  • we want you there’
  • I respect your time (as it needs to be planned).
  • I respect you

And as information for me is matter of care, and I feel uncared for in it’s absence. When information doesn’t reach me, I feel outside the loop, disconnected, unimportant, forgotten, put out and life is difficult to plan.

But this is to read my culture into the culture here at least amongst those in my church. The people around me don’t seem to feel the same way. Preplanning is unnecessary. In the church things happen more or less the same way from year to year and the differences don’t seem to complicate life.

Oh – to learn!!!!!

Visiting Alcora

24 02 2011

Rachel and BJ, who were here in Córdoba when I arrived, are now living in Alcora with their beautiful daughter Miriam. There is one other family of Christians in the town. Previously, there has been a church but it has closed.

To find out more about what they are dong, check out their blog… www.whitakerwire.blogspot.com

Rach and BJ are attending the church in Onda who have called them to plant in Alcora, and they are holding a study in their home each week while they get to know the town and pray about how to move forward. They need prayer for openings in the town, for friendships and for ways to break into the community.

Finally Physio 2

16 02 2011

Post first session: the weren’t open when I arrived at 9 for my appointment, at 9:15 I was seated with the differential, at 9:25 I had ultrasound and at 9:40 I was out the door. The treatment is the same everyday, although every other time I’ve started a bit earlier with 8 minutes on the heat lamp first.

I also finally bought the anti-inflammatories. I’d been a bit concerned about taking the tablets because I have been instructed by a hematologist not to take anything of the kind up to aspirin, but the traumatologist’s response was ‘no pasa nada’! (no worries)

So I’m taking them, but I’ve got bruises from every time I brush past everything. My friends dog bit me and it just didn’t stop bleeding.


Because I’m bad (I’m bad…)

14 02 2011

This week my Michael Jackson CD arrived! Dad and I had bought the CD while he was here and it was the backtrack for much of our journey but he was gong to mail it to me at the end of his finally week and while I received the rest, he must have left the MJ in the car because we never saw it again.

So I found it online and bought it for 3euros. I’ve been listening to it all week. Humming along on the bus, marching along to it and dancing through the halls. I had to laugh in the sermon on sunday when the pastor used Michael Jackson as an example in his sermon on Psalms 137 in a comparison as to whether we would compromise or sing only to God – compromise being represented by MJ. Mind you, in the same sermon I thought when talking of vengeance he suggest that we didn’t need to worry because God would bring the turkey… 1 small letter between ‘pavo’ and ‘pago’ – the pay/owed due…

Psalm 139 aside, I’ve grooving my way through the week, and now I’m waiting for Beatles 1!


Ray’s Visit

12 02 2011

On a fly through, Ray Busuttil came through Córdoba this week. He arrived on thursday arvo and we walked the neighbourhood in endless circles catching up and talking through life here. On friday morning, he got down to Cabra to visit Abel and Rafi and they picked me up and we headed up to Peñarroya for the pastoral care meeting.


I love these meetings because it’s like boxing day or grandma’s birthday, when all the team gets together like a family gathering. Admittedly they are more structured, have a purpose and a content – but all the same, it’s family fun. And it was great having Ray there in the middle.

Not only does Ray know lots of these guys from his time as a missio in the Ukraine, but it was perfect timing having him here to chat to about the whole process of what comes next.

It’s not that it occupies my brain all the time – but I think much better outloud and even better when the other person responds… 🙂


Learning Lessons

10 02 2011

Following yesterday’ non meeting I am reminded that this is what Spain is like. The steps are small, he obvious fruit are few and the road is long. It’ funny how quickly fall into using the measures of the ministries I’ve been in.

I’m reminded that ministry may just be hard – the ground might very well be dry – and the results may just be very few. But I’m going to learn a lot about being Faithful here in Spain.


Ebay and Amazon…

10 02 2011

I’m having so much fun with Amazon and Ebay. I hardly ever buy anything, but just having something on the watchlist, and playing the game of catching it cheap…

This week I bought a How-to-Host-a-Murder game. The plan is to translate it and have it here in Spain. Probably over stretching my capacity – but for 3 euros it’s worth it for the exercise 🙂


3 Steps out the door…

9 02 2011

As I was walking out the door today to head to GBU – I thought, I’d better just give them a ring to check others are coming. I had got  head stat texting two of the guys in the morning to make sure it was on their agenda, but they hadn’t texted back. Over the last few weeks each of the students have been  a bit scarce and while I was out of town 1 week, the three others it’s been cancelled on the day within an hour before – so I was a bit surprised I didn’t get a call.

So no surprises when I rang and the student in charge said he couldn’t come – meeting up with his cousin – and hadn’t remembered to call. Listed the other who can’t make it, down to 2, and no study, cancelled.

GBU is falling out of the minds of the few students we have. One has been faithfully involved for 5 years and his time at uni is wining up while his other obligations grow heavier and heavier, with a new girlfriend in the mix. Another is finishing up to had to Germany next year on scholarship. A third has not really been there week in week out and getting to the end of his last year, it’s not about to take priority. None of these will return net year so it almost seems logical to let them drop the ball. Almost…

It’s hard to see the first years starting off on campus with all their energy and enthusiasm and within months be ringing in with ‘exam prep’ or ‘too much study’. If that’s how first year is – that doesn’t bode well for the next 5.

It’s never going to get easier for these students to et time aside to read the bible with others, pray together and try to reach the campus for Christ. And it certainly isn’t going to be easier in the work force with more time constraints, professional limits and pit responsibilities between home, work and family.

How many people have you met that have decided that if their course requires that

much of them, 5 years ‘out-of-the-picture’ then maybe it’s worth sacrificing that career for the sake of ministry. If you can’t be a student and a minister – will you ever be able to combine anything with ministry?

This is the question that bugs me tonight as I use my spare evening at home to find ways to contact the many students who are coming to campus and who may well want to read the bible. Now I’m praying for Christians who’ll be willing to pick up the opportunity…


Finally Physio

8 02 2011

Today I finally tackled the medical scene. For a few weeks now I’ve had a sore shoulder. I don’t remember any particular incident but it aches slightly al the time, much more in the cold and I can feel it when I move it.

I did heat, without any result. Visiting Montilla, I met a masseuse who gave me a session but it didn’t seem to help.

So finally I decided to go to the traumatologist. The system here is you go to a specialist for a referral to a physio, not the general GP. I spend days summing up the courage to ring, and they gave me an appointment for the next day.

So armed with my private health care card I found the clinic this afternoon. Despite the fact there were 6 in the queue, I was in an out in 10 minutes. And this is why…

I entered a little corridor with another door at the end. Walking through the second door in the middle of the room was a huge desk with two men behind it. They could have been panel members from the Australian Idol audition. One had regular clothes, while the other sat behind a computer in a white lab coat.

The non-coated is the traumatologist. I give him three brief sentences explaining verbally the problem. He gets up, comes around the desk and feels my shoulder, without moving it for approximately 8 seconds. He returns to his side of the desk, and tells the other guy it’s tendinitis and he’ll order a ‘bit of physiotherapy’ which the other guy types into the computer. He then writes it on a piece of paper for me as well as a tablet I’m to take and the name of a cream to use. I’m to see him again after the physiotherapy, and then I’m dismissed.

It’s a rapid system – and fairly surreal. The secretary informs me that a ‘bit of physiotherapy’ is 10 sessions and she will ring me the next day to arrange the time, the same time, as I will be given the time for the next 10 days.

As it turns out, 9am in the morning. So tomorrow, I’m off to my first session.