I’m sitting here in my bunk bed 4,029 miles from home listening to a rain storm outside (which happens frequently here) with pictures of my friends and family surrounding me, Maddie journaling on the top bunk, and a unicorn colored heating pillow keeping me warm->-> THIS IS MY NEW NORMAL!
I’ve called A Coruna, Spain my new home for almost 2 weeks but it feels like I’ve lived here for so much longer with the true love and care I’ve been shown from everyone involved in OM Spain since Day 1! From first impressions, A Coruna’s beautiful buildings and history instantly took my breath away but what caught my eye more than that was how much the people here need the light of Jesus in their lives! Our Global Year team is under direction of OM Spain here in A Coruna which stands for Operation Mobilization and is an incredible movement committed to reach the whole world with Biblical evangelism! According to Operation World, Spain only holds 0.4% evangelical believers making this country an “unreached people group.” It hurts my heart to see people here have access to the Gospel but choose not to believe in God because of the damaged views people hold on the church and Christianity from the past. I believe God has called our team (aka American Spaniards) to Spain to be a light and show genuine love that we receive from our Almighty God to people who are lost or hurting here. A key part of evangelism here in Spain is building relationships and bringing the Gospel into the conversation when there is a small opening because people here are not interested in having the Gospel shared with them due to thinking they have everything they need material wise which results in not looking for hope in anything else. Coming from back home living in the Bible Belt and growing up in a Christian school to coming to Spain where they aren’t interested about God and His love, initial conversations with new friends is going to be challenging so I’m praying fervently for God to give me the wisdom and words to speak His truth when an opportunity rises. Even though I don’t know the people God is going to put in my path here and what their views are on Christianity, I’m clinging onto the truth that I have a guide I can trust on this journey and His name is MY HEAVENLY FATHER!
With living here already for 2 weeks, we have adventured around our new home a lot and have experienced the normal for people in A Coruna. Overall, A Coruna definitely holds similarities to America, but also has many differences that will continue to take some time to adjust to. Some things included in my new normal include:
1. Spain’s time is 6 hours ahead of Georgia’s time!! So when I’m starting my day here, everyone back in Georgia are still deep in their REM sleep and when I’m getting ready for bed, people in Georgia are coming home from their work day or eating dinner. Definitely something I’m still adjusting to with basically living the whole day before my loved ones have even started!!
2. Siesta!! Everything here shuts down from 2-4 for a time of rest and to have a big lunch. Lunch is the biggest meal here which is very different for me coming from America where dinner is the biggest. Our dinners here normally look like soup or toast around 8-9 pm.
3. Spanish everything!! Conversations, supermarkets, and bus stops are all in Spanish. Which of course makes sense we are in Spain but it’s much harder than I was expecting cause my brain is constantly working trying to translate what people are saying even when I have no clue what words they are speaking. We start our first Spanish class today which will be amazing because right now I understand parts of sentences but rely on Maddie to translate basically everything for me.
4. There are coffee shops literally everywhere!! Coffee is huge here and people drink it like water!! I thought I liked coffee in America, but in Spain THERE’S NO COMPARISON and even black with a little bit of sugar it tastes like pure deliciousness. Maddie and I’s go to order is the cafe con leche and every coffee shop we go to never lets us down.
5. Walking or taking the bus are our main ways of transportation!! The first week we were here, we walked around 9 miles every day which is MUCH DIFFERENT than back home where we just drive everywhere. The bus system takes you everywhere you need to go and our whole team has bus cards that are reloadable and you just scan every time you take the bus which is so easy. I have learned already that the bus is going to be my best friend as the winter days are approaching because when it’s raining or windy, walking will definitely not be my first choice.
I am loving getting to experience the culture here and making A Coruna’s way of life my new normal. I have expereinced some homesickness, but with clinging to God and His Word I see clearly that this is where I’m supposed to be right now and hear Him speaking to me to live in the present because 8 months will fly by in a blink of an eye. I’m praying and ask y’all to pray for me that everyday here I live with intentionality and have an open heart for God to move in any direction He wants to take me. Next week our permanent ministry schedules begin and I can’t wait to work and serve for God’s glory in every area I am put in!! I will be trying to write a couple blogs per month of updates and how God is moving through my team and I here in our new home!!
One thing God has been teaching me:
Prayer is truly laying it all down (that means EVERYTHING) before Him and letting His will be done. I never have laid EVERY SINGLE THING of my life in His hands until I got to Spain and I’m already seeing His faithfulness shine through every day I’m here! I’m learning to pray big with expectation because I know God’s got me!!!
-Intentional relationships with the people here in A Coruna
-Our team’s health as the cold days are approaching
Here are some highlights from the first 2 weeks: new bedroom, cafe con leches, exploring funky stores, GY Spain family (minus Taylor), and touring the famous Tower of Hercules———->>