Hola a todos!
This morning was absolutely beautiful here in Salamanca! After a group breakfast in the hotel, we walked around the plaza and stores to get a few souvenirs before departing into Madrid. Then, we met up with Cody, a leader of a youth group called En Vivo. Through this group, they welcome college students and young adults to join a Christ-oriented community while also feeling welcome even if they have doubt in God. We helped set up chairs and tables for them to have a community dinner and learn more about Cody and the organization itself. We visited the coffee shop church that partners with En Vivo. Here students and young adults are welcome to come in on every other Sunday for church in a more open environment with free coffee, food, and community.
We said our goodbyes to Cody and headed out for lunch followed by a tour of the Salamanca Cathedrals. They were absolutely beautiful and we even go to climb to the top of it where the bells were! We continued to explore Salamanca until dinner time where we ate the national dish of Spain, Paella with shrimp and chicken. During dinner, we visited with Santiago and the other youth. We played multiple games of hangman and tic tac toe! For our last night in Salamanca, we visited another gelato shop for one last sweet treat in the city!
This morning in Salamanca we went back to our partner church where we met Santiago, the assistant pastor of the Baptist church here in Salamanca. We played icebreakers to continue our knowledge of each other and become closer. Afterwards, Santiago led a devotional about embracing both our good and bad qualities because they were given us to by God. We should glorify all our qualities because he made us in his image. However, we also discussed pride and how to take criticism in a good way.
Following our devotional, we ventured into local parks where we cleaned up trash, such as cigarette butts (too many to count), mysterious chocolate milk, a pee bottle, wrappers, plastic, and more. Hailey got the joy of accidentally pouring the pee bottle on her hands, then Brannan graciously picked it up. Next, we enjoyed friendly games of soccer and basketball while waiting for our bus to arrive.
After enjoying a wonderful Spanish lunch with our friend Santiago, we toured la Universidad de Salamanca and got to learn about the university mascot (the frog) and the history of the university. Then, we took a siesta and relaxed a little before dinner time. We ate dinner at Famous Hollywood, an American restaurant in Salamanca!
Today was our first day waking up in Salamanca and venturing into the city. We woke up, had breakfast in the hotel, then headed out to Church for Sunday School and Service. At Sunday School, Santiago (a church youth leader) talked about being humble and surrendering to God, through the stories of a women prostitute who Jesus cared for. Two of our students, Jordan and Eliza, were so brave to share their testimonies with the Sunday school class. In Service, the pastor talked about how as a congregation we can come together and that if someone makes a bad decision the whole congregation should help and guide them to forgiveness.
After Church, we went to lunch followed by a quick rest time. As a group, we explored Salamanca and even went to a candy shop full of delicious sweets. Following this, we ventured out to the Roman Bridge, the Cathedral, and the University of Salamanca. Near the Roman Bridge in a park area, we had a devotional reflecting on our day at the church and how it differed from our culture. Afterward, we walked to dinner and then headed to the hotel for a good night’s rest before our day tomorrow.
We arrived at the Austin Airport around 5:30am ready to check bags and board our first plane to Chicago. We arrived in Chicago around 11am and didn’t leave for Madrid until 4:40pm. Arriving in Madrid around midnight (US) and 7:00 (Spain) we began our journey to Salamanca.
On our way to Salamanca we stopped at Avila for a rest stop and to see a medieval wall still standing. When arriving in Salamanca, we checked in to our hotel and took a quick break before venturing out into the Plaza Mayor for lunch. After lunch, we took a quick rest where we could shower, relax, and get ready for karaoke with the church’s youth group (ICHTUS). We sang, prayed, and discussed Psalms 146. Afterward, we went to dinner near Plaza Mayor. We went back to the hotel and got ready for bed preparing for church the next day!
Adios for now,
Hola a todos!
The Spain Trip is preparing for our plane ride and service days. Before we know it, we will be at the airport on Friday at 5:30am and ready for takeoff! Today during our Go Week meeting, we watched a video of places in Spain we will visit and serve in, such as the university and cathedrals. We discussed packing and preparations for our flights. Pushing through the rest of the week we are getting ready to serve and explore!
Below is our group pictures and some of our anxieties and excitements. We are giving our all to God and trusting in him to lead us.
Mrs. McColl our group leader gave us this verse:
Romans 8:35 “I am inseparable from the love of God.”
– Spain Go Week