Thursday, May 15, 2008

What's New with the Newlyweds!


We kicked off the new year in Spain which was surreal and wonderful. We spent most of our time in Granada, but took a few days to visit Almeria, Malaga, and Madrid as well. We were blessed to meet with some brothers and sisters there who are doing the Lord's work and we were so humbled to see their heart to serve and put faith into action. It stirred our excitement for the ways in which our church might be called to serve there in the future.

What a beautiful country and what a unique culture! Our days rarely started before noon and rarely ended before 2 AM. We ate dinner close to 9 or 10 PM and enjoyed the mid-day siesta when everything and everyone slows down, closes shop and rests. (We need to bring that to the states!)

We even saw a bit of North African influence in the Teterias, or Moroccan Tea Houses, that we visited nearly every day.
We often ended our days in those dimly lit, narrow shops, sitting at small round tables on hand-woven cushions with our own personal Moroccan-style tea pot. We sipped sweet tea, pouring a little at a time into tiny glasses, like tiny tea shots. What a departure from the life we live here in the US!

We also managed to find a Dunkin Doughnuts in Malaga so that Greg didn't go into complete withdrawl...


After enjoying Spain, we ventured into Morocco. While Greg's amazing Spanish skills kept us more than afloat in Spain, French and Moroccan Arabic were two very unfamiliar languages to both of us. Thankfully, we stayed with our dear friends Chris and Kenza and Kenza's wonderful family in Rabat. It made all the difference in the world knowing someone who could help us get around!

Staying with friends made our adventures that much more fun! We were treated like guests of honor as Kenza's family filled our bellies with good, rich, flavorful, food every morning, noon, and night. We must have gained a few pounds! We ate Tajine together, drank authentic Moroccan tea, tried our hand at a few French and Arabic words, and explored the city with Kenza and her brother Rachid, who were gracious enough to guide and translate (praise the Lord!).

Again, we were awed by the beautiful country and culture there. To hear the Imam's give a call to worship Allah over giant loudspeakers blasted from the city Mosques several times a day-- even in the middle of the night-- was somewhat daunting to foreign ears. But what an insightful thing to be able to visit this part of the world! We were so blessed by everyone's hospitality there, the amazing food, the beautiful sites, and of course, the company!

Kenza and Rachid dressed us up in traditional Moroccan garb

Home Again...

Since our trip, we've been enjoying being home for a while and keeping busy here. Greg introduced me to the sport of road biking and, although this spring has been windy, we've enjoyed exploring the city that way. Greg, after much prayer, decided to pursue a PHD in Philosophy and Apologetics and has begun his program through Whitefield Theological Seminary. I am also going back to school for a MFA (Master of Fine Arts) in Creative Writing through a school in Ohio called Ashland University. Both of our programs are "low-residency" so that we can still work and serve here while doing school. I have continued to teach music and am growing a small business with that, and Greg is serving faithfully in ministry to youth and families. We are both excited to pursue further education together at this unique time in life that the Lord has allowed us.
We're both preparing for a lot of travel this summer, to Mexico, Guatemala, New York...etc. And will have more updates in August!


Early morning balloon ride over the city

Sailing over the Rio Grande

Go-Go Girls at the Tate wedding

In rare form...

Lovely Spring Picnic!


Uncle Greg and Lillian