Monday, October 17, 2011

Learning, Learning, Learning!

So it would seem as though I need to write some more stuff on this here blog of mine. This is something that I shall do then. As I'm writing this, I am realizing that you guys will be reading this and wondering to yourself, "Is this guy bloody crazy?! We can't see into his mind, nor are reading what he's typing as he's typing it." This is a correct accusation, I am crazy for typing it like I am. But! If you guys just had super powers, then this would be a lot less awkward. Now onto what happened in the last week.

A lot happened.

The end.

That's basically the truth, but I'm going to try to sum it up as best as I can. First order of things, my asthma acted up and I had no inhaler. Hooray! Luckily it only last about an hour of me coughing non-stop. What brought on the asthma attack you say? Well all the leaders at the base thought it would be fun to take us through an obstacle course. At first, I was very excited for it. I've always liked obstacle courses, with all the challenges that have to be overcome to get to the end and all that jazz. Except they took us on one of the hottest days ever. It was probably like 35-40℃ outside that day which I thought I would be able to handle. Except here in Spain, it's hot for a lot longer than it is over in Canada. So it was super dry outside. Plus! The obstacle course was in a desert-like setting. So it was very dusty. With all of the dust built up from 3 other people going before I did, it really sucked. It felt like my chest was going to explode. When I was doing the obstacle course, they kept on making up the rules as it went along. So I would come up to an obstacle and I thought I knew what I was doing, but, oh, how wrong I was. I would have to start over and try it again and again. That sucked. Then there was a suspension bridge made of rope that we had to cross for the last obstacle. I thought, "I've done these before! Piece of cake!" Again, I was so wrong. They were shaking the bridge so much, that I had to lay on one side of the railing and drag myself along. This resulted in a lot of rope burns all across my back and my armpit. So, in the end, I was really sore and barely learned anything of the lesson they were trying to teach because I was too busy coughing my lungs up. Hooray!

Now I probably could've summarized that a lot better, but I really wanted to get across what an adventure it was for me. Now onto the next thing on list, what I learned this week. It's a lot, so I'm gonna do my best to just hit the main points that made an impact in my life.

In the first couple of days, my head was ready to explode from everything that I was taking in. I didn't have enough RAM to process exactly what I was receiving. Yet even though I was having such a hard time at coping with all the knowledge I was getting, out came a lesson. Patience! God was trying to teach me to be patient. That He is always going to be able to provide me with an answer to the questions or troubles that I will go through in life. So instead of me trying to rush towards the end of it all, that I should really look at the process and focus on how I am dealing with the challenges in life. This concept was given to me: "Take care of the possible. God will handle the impossible." This also goes along with: "God isn't going to do what you are able to do." With those two concepts in hand, I was then able to focus on the individual steps that I had to do to understand and decipher what I was receiving.

Hopefully that last paragraph made sense. The next most important thing that happened, was that God's hand isn't moved by our faith. It's by His love for us that things are put into place. We can't think that if we pray with such power, with such faith that what we are praying for, be it healing or provision, will happen. If God doesn't want it to happen, it's not going to happen. Menstruation (aka period). So we have to come to Him first, our Father, and ask Him for guidance. If someone comes to us saying that they have cancer, and we just automatically start praying for healing and all this stuff that sounds super powerful. If God doesn't want them to be healed, they aren't gonna receive healing. Which will then only bring upon depression in our walk with Him, along with guilt and all of this other crap. So instead, we must seek Him first. Ask Him, "We don't know how to pray, Father. Please give us guidance as to what to do in this time of need." That also put to rest a lot of stuff in my mind.

So that is that! Another week down and a lot of stuff has been soaked up. My knowledge is growing and so is my relationship with Jesus, but not only Him. With everyone here at the YWAM base and other relationships back home. This is a long blog post and I tried my best to summarize. Hopefully it makes sense, please comment with feedback. With that, I bid you farewell till next time!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Starting to Settle?

So another week goes by and another set of adventures arose. I went to yet another absolutely beautiful monumental area in Cáceres. They were doing some construction making a pathway for tourists (would've been nice if we had it) and they were also doing some restoration work on one of the buildings. Other than that, everything was stunning. There was a giant statue of someone (never got any confirmation on who it was), and I'm pretty sure that I captured a photo of it but I'm not sure. If any of you haven't been seeing the photos on my facebook profile, I'll just tell you to go and look at them because putting a link just makes it too easy for you (which is an inconvenience for me) and I'm pretty sure that everyone who is looking at this blog is already a friend of mine on facebook. So suck it up, I'm not putting a link on here. Now onto a description of the buildings I saw!

There is a prison that is out here and it's actually fairly big. I was surprised to find one out here at all, let alone being so massive. Again, I'm pretty sure I took a picture of it, so go check out my facebook page. There is also a university out here and is it ever massive! The campus spans for probably 50 kilometres. I was amazed when I was first told that that was the university campus. Maybe it would be fun to go to a school that is that large, but I mean, could you imagine if the blueprints for that place said that the cafeteria, with all of it's glorious juice from God's nipple (aka coffee), was placed right in the middle. Sure, super awesome for any building that lies around it, but if you were in a building that was right on the edge of the campus, going that far would be a pain in the ass. Especially if you are like me and want coffee all through out the day. Not that I actually drink that much coffee (it's actually tea right now), but it just goes to show that a campus of that magnitude doesn't seem very logical. But I've never been to university, so don't listen to me. Which means this paragraph is null and void, so don't read it. Sorry I couldn't save you the time.

This next section will be a little more spiritual, so if you don't want to read it, I can't stop you. But I would like to encourage you to read it because you've already made it this far, might as well finish. 

So I have always been a christian throughout my entire life, but I've struggled with religion. Religion is something that always brings up great controversy and with good reason. This is why I no longer say that I have a 'religion'. I like to call it a relationship with Jesus Christ. This is having a friendship with someone who I can share absolutely everything with and not be afraid that I will have condemnation or damnation, for that matter. Youth With A Mission (YWAM) believes in exactly the same thing. We had this teacher come out from Chile this past week and my initial thought was, "Oh great, an older guy coming to bring some 'words of wisdom' that I'm not going to listen to or care about." Yet, as the very first lesson came about, it was clear that this wasn't going to be a normal old guy preacher. He really had a love for discovering new things and being completely open to them. He also said some very harsh things that really opened my eyes and I was glad that he had the courage to say them amongst everyone else. I wrote down pretty much everything he said (mainly because the booklet he gave me was in Spanish, so I couldn't understand anything that was in it) and it was all very well thought out. 

I also had a conversation with Cody (miss having these awesome conversations with you) about how missionaries will go to a place, do some good work like building a school, but will not have anyway of sustaining it. So I came to this YWAM base thinking that I should maybe try and talk to them about this and see what is going to happen on our outreach (missions trip). Yet they seemed to know that they have to sustain what they create in a third-world country because they have a project in Africa that will be in place for many, many months. So this brought renewal to my heart that my missions trip will not be for naught. That it will have a long lasting purpose. 

So! This has been quite a long blog and I don't really want to read it over to make sure that all of my thoughts are in order, so if they aren't, comment and say something so that I can either change it or just not.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

First freakin' week!

You know what’s the best part about travelling alone?


I have had one of the most interesting weeks of my entire life! Interesting, in this case, is a bad thing. First, I arrive at the Toronto airport with maybe about 0 minutes left to get to my next flight. I have never run so fast in my life.

Second, I go through all my other connecting flights and arrive in Madrid, Spain. I walk over to the luggage claim area, feeling pretty happy for making it here, and I wait for my luggage. One hour passes and there is no sight of my luggage. Fun? You betcha! I then had to put in a complaint and they tracked my bag and all that jazz.

Third, I arrive at my destination in Caceres, Spain. Getting off the train, I find Natio (who was picking me up) and we drive down to the school. I meet everyone at the school and eat some supper, walk up to my room, empty my pockets and guess what I don’t have? My wallet! Hoooooooooooly craaaaaaaaaaap! This is the point where I lost my mind. I broke down crying (really tired from all the flying and everything) and we search everywhere for it. So we phone the train station and they are closed. Woohoo! *Insanely unimpressed face*

Continuing on through the week, I find my wallet and my suitcase arrives in under a day. Hooray? Nope. About three days into the week, one of the students (Marina) gets a really bad stomachache. No biggy, right? Wrong. She ends up throwing up about three times in the night and the other girl (Amélie) ends up getting sick the very next day. I’m feeling sorry for them, wanting them to get better and everything, and then all of a sudden I have an urge to run to the toilet and throw up all of my lunch. Hooray… So I probably up-chucked about 10 times that day. Plus I had diarrhea, an insanely terrible stomachache and massive headaches/disorientation.

So that’s the life of the Exciting Spaniard so far! At least I am living up to the name…