Saturday, March 17, 2012

Heading home

Thank you all for the support and prayers for this trip. We've been blessed by the people we came to serve and have had an unforgettable set of experiences. After some reflection, hopefully we can post some thoughts about this trip from other team members.

For now, we prepare to make the long flight home. See you soon.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Final gig

For our final performance, we were invited to play at a local park. While we played music, students from the seminary played games with children and chatted with passersby. The feel matched the day; laid back and easy. It was a fantastic way to end the performance part of this trip.

We'll have a dinner then back to the hotel to get ready to go home on Saturday.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Prison Performance

Today God moved in amazing ways while we served at a prison 70 miles outside of Madrid. Processing into the prison was quite an experience. We were not allowed to bring items inside like phones, cameras, belongings, etc. We could only have our passports which they kept until we processed out.

The van was loaded down with everything and Manny Jr was allowed to drive it in to unload.

The set up inside included an auditorium with stage and sound. We were there to support a prison ministry that has obviously made some inroads with the inmates based on the warm greetings. Our part was similar to our previous performances where we'd play around seven songs, a few verses translated from English to Spanish, followed by a time for preaching and eventual invitations to accept Christ.

We were also pleased to discover that the drummer for us was an actual inmate. Once again, God provided an answer to prayers by matching us up with the inmate named Julio who plays the drums.

The audience was highly receptive even though the acoustics were very difficult to overcome. We closed with a song that Julio said the inmates knew how to sing in English. It was wonderful to hear them sing along with our music.

Up next...
One more outdoor gig at a park tomorrow. Them prepare to go home.

Streets of Madrid

Tonight we learned a valuable lesson in adaptation and change. The plan was to take two acoustic guitars, bass (w/ battery-powered amp), and three singers. We were going to play a few songs them turn it over to Manny to preach. The seminary students would then reach out to listeners nearby.

However, right before we played we found out we could not use the amp. So, Jimmy got to play the shaker. There was another church group from the US and we joined up with them and their group leader. This turned out well because their leader interpreted in English what Manny Jr. was saying. Street evangelism is very challenging in that it's hard to establish a relationship with anyone. What we needed to understand is that we were there to give an introduction or plant the seed for future believers.

On the music side: The crowd noise was pretty high so Steve, Lisa and Rod were challenged with being heard. We opted for the sax and a couple of guitars for rhythm. That seemed to help bring in people from the plaza. We played every half-hour from 6:30 to 8:30 and were encouraged by the crowds that showed up and stayed.

Tomorrow we play at a prison. More to come.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Practice and a Pig

Last night was pretty great. We has an opportunity to practice some songs for our first true acoustic set this evening in Madrid.

After rehearsal we were treated to a home-cooked meal at Manny Jr. and his wife's home. It Included shavings off of a black-hoof Iberian pig leg (pictured) that had been cured for three years. Easily one of the tastiest meats I've ever had.

The entire meal was delicious and we were thankful for the chance to get together.

Today we are on our way to Toledo this morning then we play in the grand plaza back in Madrid this evening.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Segovia day trip

Today we were treated to a day trip to Segovia about an hour away from Madrid. We toured the historic castle and tower along with the cathedral.

Tonight we'll join our Madrid hosts, Manny Jr. and his wife, Jaime, for dinner and music rehearsal at their home. We will prepare the music to share tomorrow in an outdoor setting. The music tomorrow will most likely be acoustic. We are being blessed with gorgeous weather and aside from a few tired times, everyone is in good spirits.

Thank you all for your continued prayers.

Monday, March 12, 2012

In Madrid

'Origen de las carreteras radiales'

We arrived back in Madrid for the remainder of our stay. Not much to report since we mainly saw the beautiful countryside as we rode from San Sebastián. More to come tomorrow. The photo is the 0 kilometer mark. According to Manny, kilometers radiate out from this point.