Tuesday, November 6, 2007

As the olive season approaches harvest, we’re seeing new activities: as the olives turn black, the farmers are spraying their orchards with some kind of insecticide. The big fan-thing blows away the fine mist coming out of the tubes around the perimeter of the fan. They tell us that harvest should start around mid-December here. It’s interesting to see big tractors circulating about town, bouncing over speed bumps, and pulling up in front of the pedestrian crosswalks.

If it doesn’t rain these days, harvest will be on time. The tractors have a big set of jaws on the front, that grabs the tree and shakes it. Everything falls off onto a sheet under the tree, and that’s it. Doesn’t sound all that romantic: you know, Mediterranean, olive groves, harvest festivals, etc. oh well…

I’ve got a few photos of the September campaign. We were waiting for someone to send us a CD of photos he took, but it didn’t happen. We took advantage of market day to set up on a street corner with a sound system and a board with an interesting presentation of the gospel. Unfortunately, the police ran us off before we could get to the end of the presentation – left a lot of people lost! Turns out, we were wrong to use the sound system, but DID have the right to preach on the corner. I imagine the officer’s mother-in-law or mom called him up on the phone, and said to “Git down here, and get rid of these heretics!”

I had a chance to preach in the park – felt a little like Paul in Athens, except the Greeks here made no comments – not sure if they were even listening! But three of us talked a little bit each. I’ll confess, I didn’t feel all that comfortable standing out there, and talking to the wind. I wonder what guys like Jeremiah and Isaiah thought when they were out there preaching, and their countrymen didn’t pay any attention.

We handed out about 4000 pieces of literature – booklets, tracts, Bible portions, video tapes, and even bibles in some cases. Every single thing got a sticker that gave our phone number and names, in case of questions. Everyone joined in the work of sticking them in.

One thing that really drew crowds was the “evangelistic bike.” Felisa, a lady from church, was a fearless bike rider, stopping to talk to crowds, offering them the gospel in plain language. Lots of kids were drawn by the bike, and wanted a try. The answer? Turn in your cell phone, and you can take a spin around the park! A lot got a ride, everyone got his phone back, and we had quite a bit of exposure.

We had a church outing before the weather turned cold, and went to a national park for a day of fun. Climbing rocky crags and mountains took me back to the “good old days” in Nigeria as a kid! We will definitely have to do that again!!! We played games (John and Jan being the official game preparers), shared lunch, and sat around and told stories for hours. Got home about 10:30 at night – as usual!

Just yesterday we had a visit from a church in Milwaukee, looking for opportunities to partner with a local church. We shared the church’s vision for ministry and expansion, ate good food, and walked around Baeza, to give them a feel for the town. For a Euro, we got to climb the bell tower of the cathedral. Sorry –no bells – no bats, either - just lots of pigeon poop! We had a great panoramic view of town and the surrounding countryside. They headed off to the Czech Republic to check out a work there, before flying on home to the USA.

I'll add a shot of our church in Ubeda. The church (the people part) is about 100 years old - although the building itself was bought in 1963 0r so. We'd like to expand into a newer attractive facility that would give us room both in the sanctuary and classrooms for Sunday school, etc.

Next issue should have a photo of my driver’s license. I take my written test the 8th of November, then the driving part. I can’t believe I’ve been driving for thirty years, and am finally taking drivers education. No comments, please!