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Grandpa is here!  All the kids are excited to see G’pa.  I think especially Theo who keeps touching his gotee, ears, and looking at him with satisfaction to have a grandparent close at hand.

He is here for 2 weeks to help pack up our lives here.  We are also encouraged that he has cared enough to come help us.  Nate’s parents recently returned from mission work in France so also know the strains and difficulties of returning from the mission field to the States.  They are aware of the surface comments “nice to have you back”  “where were you?” but lack of questions to know more about their ministry and experience in France.  So, it is good to talk to them.  They had suggested the book “Serving as Senders” which has insightful advice also for being sensitive to returning missionaries.  We would like to pass on the recommendation to any interested.

Along with G’pa in the house, we also have Krista who is a CAM intern that will be in Ubeda over this next year helping with youth work.  Nate is helping to get her oriented.  She is staying with us while looking for an apartment.

The house is full and life is busy with keeping up homeschool, packing, closing up and passing on life here…but we are enjoying the company as well.  We still have a good handful of people to say goodbye to, but we have a month left.

Nate’s dad was asked to share his testimony at church next Sunday.  Nate will translate.  Although he didn’t come to be a tourist, we do want to take him to the Alhambra.  We were there when the girls were little and the boys have never been.

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G'pa trying to get Alley to warm up to him

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Theo loves G'pa and finds him very interesting

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Sunday lunch/afternoon coffee w/ G'pa, Krista, and Luisa

 

 

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Every month a group of us from the Ubeda church go to a designated town in proximity to Ubeda to hand out tracts.  This month we went to Villacarillo, a town with an approximate population of 15,000.

People accepted the tracts gladly for the most part, especially from Theo.  One old lady was very touched and wanted to give him something in exchange.  We said it was free, and we saw her reading it on a park bench afterwards.  For the most part, this isn’t a time of getting into heavy evangelistic conversations, however, occasionally that happens too.  We did meet a man (named Jesus) who lived on the street and said he had gone through rehab with Remar (a christian organization) and had become a christian, been baptized, but through the roughness of his life had fallen away in the past 10 years.  We hoped to encourage him.  He did not know of any other believers in that town.

Next month the church will visit the town of Canena.

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super evangelist Theo

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The Nate & Theo team

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Andrea handing out tracts

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Nate & Theo resting by a fountain

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Theo made this lady happy

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who could resist taking a tract from this happy little guy?

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after the job was done. Alegria, Timmy, Luisa, Theo, Sierra, & Andrea

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on the march through town

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Alegria was the Ubeda church evangelism mascot

 

 

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typical old man scene. Nate & Theo made sure they all got a tract and answered a few questions

 

 

 

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dividing up tracts & into small groups & praying beforehand

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Saturday's group in Villacarillo

 

 

Ubeda happenings…

Nate has been teaching youth Sunday school as well as youth group in the afternoon and often on Thursdays taking on the sharing time for prayer meeting.

Sierra has been playing her violin consistently for Sunday morning worship time.  She plays by ear for this, and is doing a great job!

We’ve also been meeting people for coffee.  Nate has had some tennis “dates” as well.  We also spend time with neighbor kids, like Marta who is over almost daily.  The girls have been able to share the gospel with her.  We got to know her a few months back and she was one of the kids who came for our craft time on our back patio table.  Timmy has found a friend that also loves bikes named Arturo.   We will miss many people in Spain.

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At home

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Saxe kids say hello!

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Coffee with Felisa

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outing w/ youth "feria de la tapa"

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making cookies

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Nate takes youth group to Cazorla

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daily "army" play

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Marta, our neighbor, visits us just about everyday. We invited her to church and she wanted to go but wasn't allowed to. Pray for Marta.

Another focus is trying to pack and prepare for our return.

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coffee with Manola

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Worship at church (Sierra on violin)

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Ubeda church

Apes on The Rock

After visiting Italica, the kids were encouraged to do another excursion day.  One of the things we thought necessary to visit before leaving Spain is Gibraltar.  It was a long day of travel, as we drove to and back in one day.  However, it was worth it.

It was so strange hearing English spoken, as Gibraltar is British owned.  So many people looked so “English”.  Nate said at one point, “So many people look so familiar” (coming from his English heritage).

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Main Street, Gibraltar

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Gibraltar cannon

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Alameda Gardens

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Pillars of Hercules (viewpoint for Africa)

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Andrea

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Nate's been aped

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Sierra loving every moment

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Timmy and friend

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Teddy with cute little friend

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near the top

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Stalagmite caves

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Gibraltar view

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siege tunnels

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It's a long way down!

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with my Alley girl

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discussing our fun day at "tea time"

 

 

We enjoyed fish and chips, Alameda gardens, Stalagmite caves, Seige tunnels, incredible views, and of course the famous Gibraltar apes!

 

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English phone booth

 

 

Sierra turned 14!!

October 23rd we celebrated Sierra’s 14th birthday!  Wow, still pinching myself and hoping that time will slow down a bit.

We celebrated by going to Italica, roman ruins near Sevilla.  It was a beautiful day, almost empty, and we got in free with our “familia numerosa” card we finally got in August.  Not only was it fun, it was educational.

We started the day with churros in Ubeda then headed out on a 3 hour drive.  Sierra opened presents in the van on the way.  Pictures tell a better story…so look on.

 

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Happy 14th Bday Sierra!

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the girls in roman ruins

 

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on a Roman adventure

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Italica

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Roman statues

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roman mosaic

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like father....

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...like sons!

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Roman ramblings

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girls enjoying a beautiful day

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churros

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Roman arena

 

 

 

Each month we go to Baeza and hold a kids club.  This month met with more excitement as one boy decided to make the evening an uproar by hurting kids and running around damaging things and yelling.  We don’t think this was “coincidence” in that the gospel was presented clearly this time.  6 kids raised their hands to accept the Lord, 2 of which were kids from the church (so not a new acceptance), 2 girls were ones that have normal contact with John and Jan Lohrenz, and 2 others that come normally to the club.  We do not know if these hands raised were all genuine, but they are hearing the gospel and returning.  Sierra was a clown this time.  Mary did crafts again.  This time, we had the “wordless books”, colors that have meaning towards the gospel message.

 

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rounding kids up from the town center to come to the festival

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story, crafts, snack, games, singing

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gospel presented during puppet show using the "wordless book"

 

 

Due to the fact that we could not take 2 dogs back with us to the States, we needed to find a home for Crockett.  Our good friends in Caniles said they would take him.  We call him our ADHD dog, so a life in the country suits him well.  It was a sad day of leaving Crockett in his country cave home with the Caniles family.  I sat in the back of the van on the way home comforting crying children.

That was not the only emotionally energizing moment of the day, my hand was also attacked by a cat.  I ended up going into shock and passing out.  My friend Antonia caught me before hitting the bathroom floor.  I “came to” looking at her face which looked familiar but didn’t know where I was at first and couldn’t remember anything after saying “I don’t feel good” and laying my head down on the sink.  After this episode, we headed out to meet some other guests that came with after wiping my face of sweat and assuredly with a very interesting hair-do and bright orange antiseptic on my clothes that was sprinkled on me as Antonia caught me in my descent.

Other than that, we had a great day!!  We just love being around the Caniles family (the Marins) and had a great time with the other guests singing and having great conversation.  We will miss the Marins so much.  We hope to see them a couple times more before we leave.

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on our way to Caniles with Crockett, the soon to be cave dog

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Caniles

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view from the Marins cave home

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alabanza (worship time)...Sierra on violin

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4 families together having fellowship

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night before kids make tee-pee and sleep in it