Grateful in November
I try to cultivate gratitude throughout the year in various ways, but in November, like many, I double down and express my gratefulness publicly a bit more often. There is never a shortage of gratitude challenges available on the internet, and you can find me sharing lists in Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #rosaliegivesthanks. So often, my gratitude is centered on relationships, opportunities to gather, the sharing of food, and other situations that enable me to practice hospitality and flex my relational muscles.
With no sign of an end to the global pandemic that has closed borders, canceled events, and limited gathering, I've had to dig deeper, think harder, and repeat myself a lot as I practice thanking God in all circumstances. The days are quite repetitive, but that doesn't lessen the gratitude. And just because there is more to complain about doesn't mean there is less to be grateful about. Also, last I checked, grumbling never did anyone any good.
We are so grateful for you, , our partner in ministry through prayer and financial support. Please let us know how we can be praying for you, and if we can join you in praising God for anything this November.
Although the pandemic limits many social gatherings, most activities have been underway since October. Curious what our days look like? We're busier than we imagined!
Chris participates in online seminary Tuesday through Friday for a Pastoral Leadership certificate - in Spanish!
Susanna has dance and piano lessons and Austin has soccer during the week
Tuesday evenings Rose is leading a ladies Bible study in Spanish. Soon we will begin our pastor's own published study of the Book of Ruth!
Wednesday mornings Rose is studying the Bible with a friend, P, who has never studied the Bible before (this one we get to do in English!)
Fridays we help with a Bible club for kids. Our coworker Cindy shares the Gospel with around 15 of her English students and their friends, plus kids from the church
Sunday Chris does the A/V for the church and Rose is on the rotation to teach kids under 6.
We're grateful to be busy but it is very tiring and sometimes seems like too much activity for no return. All these would be opportunities to build friendships, get to know people in our community, or activities between meaningful meetings with friends. We cannot legally gather in groups bigger than 6, though, even in parks, so we can't meet with other families with kids. This type of meeting is kind of the heartbeat of our ministry, so having our hands tied in this way is very frustrating. We trust that God is at work in spite of the restrictions.
On September 19, at a larger church in Madrid and after multiple delays due to COVID-19, our Spanish pastor Miguel Angel was officially ordained. Chris and I LOVE sitting under Miguel Angel's preaching, which is dynamic, profound, interesting and always includes the Gospel. We also love serving the church with Rebeca, who is a wonderful friend, teacher and servant. They are expecting baby #3 later this year. Please pray for them!
Here we are celebrating this momentous occasion! This is what we look like anytime we're outside the house. This summer it was suffocating but now that it's winter we are more used to it. The kids have adjusted beautifully.