The Duryees in December
Christmas and New Year's (and Three Kings Day!) are such a great time to talk about Jesus in Spain
Highlights from our time in the Algarve with the Spain and Portugal teams included connecting with our regional administrators, meeting a family who has only been in Portugal 3 months (we remembered our first trip to Portugal and encouraged them that it all gets easier) and a much needed date night thanks to our teammates. We also got these fun family photos, which you’ll probably get tired of seeing over the next few months.
It’s hard to convey our gratitude to those of you who pray and support us here in Spain. Maybe you see our fun photos and think to yourself, what are they even doing there? Is it useful? Is it worthy? We can’t wait to see your faces and share more during our first furlough! But every day we have an opportunity to show someone that God loves them, and more often than not, we get to offer an explanation that surprises them. People in Spain do not know Jesus, and we love to tell them about Him!
When our kids are well behaved, they wonder how. We answer that God guides our parenting and we aim for the balance of grace and discipline that produces kids who want to obey because they know they are loved.
I’ve shared the Gospel as an explanation for why our marriage seems so good, why we can’t play soccer games on Sundays, why we don’t take Catholic holidays off, why we put our kids in a Christian school, what a centro evangelico is, why I wear a little house necklace (to remind me to love my neighbors), what Thanksgiving Day means, and so much more!
Sometimes supporting missionaries enables a hospital to be built. And that’s amazing and worthwhile! But sometimes you’re enabling a family to make a Gospel impression, possibly the only one ever experienced, in a post- post-modern society where the Gospel has little influence. Thank you.
praises & prayers
:: Before we left for Portugal, I recorded myself presenting a devotional for a baby shower event. It went over very well in spite of my not being able to attend the event in person. If you speak or want to practice your Spanish, you can watch it here!
:: Please pray for our events and activities over the Christmas season: kids club (Christmas special December 17), preschool class singing in front of the church and Rose’s teaching of Acts 9 in a class.
:: Pray for a few hospitality events we have planned where we hope to bless our friends and have opportunities to share why Christmas is so important to us.
:: We are so pleased that all our supporting churches on the west coast have scheduled meetings with us beginning in August 2021. If you would like us to speak to your small group, Bible study, or church, please let us know! We look forward to meeting with as many of you as possible during our home assignment.
:: Keep praying for the right Director for Evangelical Christian Academy and Chris’s role as board president
:: Our coworkers have opened Brilla Cafe! Their neighborhood lacked a good coffee shop, so they opened one and will be offering English events. It is so cool to see God carry out a vision!
:: Our family has celebrated Advent with the Jesus Storybook Bible, Ann Voskamp’s Unwrapping the Greatest Gift (a Jesse Tree) and a few other guides. This year we are doing this one from Exploring Nature with Children, brushing up on our nature journaling skills
:: Each Sunday in Advent we watch these word study videos from the Bible Project
some shameless self-promotion
:: It’s not too late to sign up to receive Behold: a 7-day advent devotional from the writers at Taking Route blog, of which I am one! I have an essay about the Innkeeper from the story of Jesus’ birth.
:: We’d like to send you a Christmas card! Please put your mailing address here. The first two years in Spain we used addresses from our files at ABWE, but we are still getting returned mail from people who have moved! So, if you want a card, please be sure to add your address here.
:: I tend to post on Instagram in pairs. See two special updates, one on our Christmas decorations and one on a local coffee shop project you may have heard about, here: instagram.com/roseduryeewrites
shop & Empower
Thank you for supporting my fair trade shop! Trades of Hope still has a lot of beautiful items on sale and the last day for shipment by Christmas is December 17. Shop this link and I’ll be donating to a local safe house. bit.ly/spainsafehouse.
“Hope is a movement, a refusal to keep still when darkness stuns, stepping into blank spaces, filling them with God. May you face the grit of life with a hope that moves, in little ways, in courageous ways, bringing God’s love into your dark places, giving Christ his home.” - Strahan Coleman