Monday, June 30, 2008

A team from Dallas and Mexico visited during Easter week. A couple of artists from Mexico did some evangelism in the park. Using their painting talents, they attracted lots of kids. Several kids knew the Bible stories, and they all got to take home some comic books with stories in them. The adults showed some curiosity over the art works, but remained cold to any discussion or presentation of a religious nature.

We took a short trip to GUADIX during Easter week. Apparently, when the Spanish re-conquered the area, they allowed the Moors to stay, but they preferred to move out of town into the nearby hills. There, they carved out houses in the hillside (caves), and put “house facades” on the fronts. So, they lived underground with beautifully finished facades.

People still live there. no need for heat in winter or air conditioning in the summer. It sure is strange to see smoke stacks poking out of hill-tops!

We’re always amazed at how religious people seem to get around Easter! And Baeza’s no different! There were processions all week long, at all different hours. Some even involved little children at 10:30 or 11:00 at night. The “floats” are fairly heavy, as noted by the number of people carrying them. I guess that’s not the only heavy load they’re carrying!

Different floats were carried by different groups and cofradias. Even the civil guard got in the act, and carried a float!

There were several bands that accompanied the processions, even some little kids got in the act. There was some similarity with holy week in Guatemala, but some distinct activities, too. We didn’t see any of the floral carpets, but they tell us that’ll happen on Corpus Cristi – next week.

We always love to visit our good friends in Decatur, Alabama, where the First Bible church is. While in the US during March, I had a chance to attend FBC’s missions conference. Along with that great experience I got to spend a couple days with Jim and Lynne Burleson and do a little “work.” They’re re-modeling their log house, and agreed to an extra hand in putting up the last of the logs for the roof, and a few of the columns. The first day we worked in the drizzle all day, and the second under a snowflake-filled sky. Sure was cold! But it was great to be back in the construction business. And having that handy “heavy-log-lifter” was a boon, too!

I (John) spent a few days in Dallas, helping with some family matters, and would you believe it snowed! That’s the first snow we’ve seen for almost 20 years. Didn’t last long, and I was glad to let it go! Our three boys are living there with my sister Barbara, and really enjoying it. Tim and Ben are still in college, and Andy is working in the film industry, traveling in the Dallas area. At present, you can look for his name under the “gaffer” in the credits. He’s hoping to do some actual shooting, and maybe work into direction some day. Tim has a couple of semesters left, having transferred from John Brown to the UTD. Ben just spent three months with us here in Spain, and will be returning to Dallas in early June. He’ll be working at a local Christian camp during the summer, and probably pursue studies in journalism in the fall.

There’s always a warm welcome at FBC, and I had a great opportunity to give a report about what’s happening here, and just renew good friendships in general. Time in a Sunday school class allowed us to challenge folks’ thinking again, and get us out of our comfortable ruts.

The music at the conference was outstanding, as usual. I came home recharged, and challenged again. We’d like to see some young folks from that church do an internship here, when we get all settled in.