We made it

>> August 28, 2009

Hola family and friends!

We are here and loving our apartment and the city! All the baggage came through and the flights were just fine. Didn't sleep a whole lot on the planes but we were able to rest when we got to our place. The staff took us out to dinner (at 9pm!) the day we got in to a little restaurant by the river that runs through the city. We ate on the roof with some spectacular views! No pictures yet but soon. We slept well that night because we were so tired from all the traveling!

Woke up to the sounds of a street sweeper and men being incredibly noisy as they set up scaffolding just a couple apartments down at 7:30am. That will take some getting used to.... we slept in as best as we could and got up to make an IKEA run. The IKEA is just outside the city.. a 10 minute walk to the bus station and a 10 minute ride and we were there. Bought a few fun things for our place and walked back to the bus station in the lovely 100 degree weather and went home! After a nice little siesta we went to do some more exploring in the city and have found a cafe down the street from our apartment with free WiFi, so here we are writing you a quick note.

We also thought we should share the actual address of our apartment, as we were misinformed about the number. If you want to look it up on
Google maps, you can search for: Calle Galera 12, Seville, Spain. You can look up when you are in the "street view" and see the windows to our place on the 2nd floor. The are a little to the right of when you first go to the street view... you should see flower pots in the window :)

Well, we are off to do some more exploring! Enjoy the photos below of our place and we will post more soon.

Love, Jordan and Sarah

Our door!

Our TV, to the right of the door as you walk in

Jordan is a giant in our kitchen.

The windows in our living room.

The loft is to the left of the door just as you walk in. Can't even open the door all the way because of the stairs! Love tiny European apartments!

A view of the living room from the loft.

The loft, where many of you will be staying! No worries, the futon is comfy.

The bathroom

Bathroom still, including washer.

Bedroom. Jordan's feet stick out quite far on this bed.. a small adjustment from our CA king back home!

Window in our bedroom. The only fan. No air conditioner... for now...


Colorado and Back

>> August 24, 2009

Well, Jordan and I survived our first road trip together! We wanted to have one last hurrah here in the states before we move to Spain and thought we should visit our good friends Brian and Lori in Colorado! We were gone for a total of 9 days... it went by way too fast, we wished we could have spent more time in CO because we loved it there and wanted to spend more time with friends! The weather was awesome and we had a great time catching up with the Van Eps. Here are some pictures of our journey.

We stopped at the Grand Canyon on our way out and LOVED it. Neither of us had been there before! Breathtaking.

Instead of camping in a camp ground like normal people, we went out into the middle of nowhere in the National Forest right outside the canyon, as per the suggestion of a park ranger. It was a little scary waking up to the sound of coyotes in the middle of the night but we loved it!

A little view of our spot.

Breakfast. Can't beat toast made on a hanger and peanut butter spread by a plastic fork from Jack in the Box.

The next day we drove along more of the southeast rim of the canyon and caught some more sweet views!

There were lots of road construction stops along the 160 on our way over to Colorado Springs but we didn't mind because we had nice scenery!

Brian took us to Garden of the Gods our first day in Colorado Springs.

Brian, being Brian.

Red Rocks!

"The Balancing Rock"

We also got to go camping with Brian and Lori and two of their friends Matt and Eilene from Fort Collins. The place we wanted to camp at was up by a reservoir, so we had to park and hike up and in quite a ways... proved to be quite difficult with a tent, air mattress, food, clothes, chairs, altitude, etc! But we had an awesome time!

I still don't know how Brian carried all of that up the hill... he had about 100 lbs. in his pack!

We of course wanted to play games with Brian and Lori like old times so we took the dominos out for some Mexican train but the boys could not resist making towers and trying to knock them down before we got started...

Stay tuned for more adventures soon.... we fly out to Spain on Wednesday!


Road Trip

>> August 10, 2009

In the morning we are starting our road trip to Colorado Springs to visit our friends Brian and Lori Van Eps. The plan is to spend the first night camping at the Grand Canyon, then drive into Colorado the next day. We are excited to see some sights and visit friends. This is our last hurah in the U.S. before we have to rush back to make the big move to Spain.

Here is a picture of us at a camp we were all working in summer 2008.


A big day in Africa

>> August 4, 2009

I was debating whether to share this story on the blog or not. It was the biggest event of the Africa trip for me yet for some reason I hesitate to write about it, maybe for fear of not telling it right.

Bruce Kane just recently posted the story from his perspective on his blog, http://epicbruce.blogspot.com, and I thought he did a great job of it. So here it is.

On this first day of medical ministry, we had finished setting up the clinic and most of us from epic were milling around looking for the areas in which we could be useful. I, myself, was feeling a bit like a third wheel when our missionary approached me to go out on a "house call." I had heard the muffled conversations about a woman out in the bush who could not make it to the clinic for care and it was obvious that the missionaries and the medical team were trying to decide what to do about it. Well, it was decided that Justice (mentioned in a previous post - "By the Hand of God") would take a team out to the house to treat the woman. We knew that she was being treated for HIV disease by a government program and that she was unable to make it into our clinic for treatment, which meant she had also been unable to make it the even further distance to the government clinic for help.

Scott, our missionary, asked me to pick a someone from the team to go along, and to quickly get ready to take off. My head spinning from the unexpected opportunity, I silently asked God who I should invite along. His answer was swift and specific. "Get Jordan," is what I knew God was saying. My impression was so strong that I immediately approached him and gave him the low down.

Soon we were loading up in the bus for out journey out to serve this lady who we only knew through the description of one of her neighbors. ( I found out later that the term neighbor would be very loosely defined in this circumstance. the ladies lived about 1.5 miles apart and could only travel to one another by foot.) We drove out of the village (we had set up our clinic in a church there) and down the road for what seemed like about 6 miles. We had the neighbor woman along for a guide. We made a turn or two and then quickly stopped near a walking path. We could see a hut off to the side of the road, so Jordan and I began to prepare ourselves to disembark. Well, the bus took a sharp left turn off of the road and onto the walking path (not that it fit on the single person foot path worn into the savanna grassland). We drove for just a little bit and then parked and got off the bus. As we began to walk out further into the bush, it began to rain and Jordan and I knew that we were on a genuine adventure.

We soon reached a mud and stick hut with a metal roof and a sheet hanging over the door. We waited outside for just a moment as Pastor James (one of our team hosts for the missions trip) called inside. Soon we were invited in and made our way through the dark, windowless front "room," past a dividing wall into a sleeping space at the back of the house. (There were 2 other sleeping spaces in the hut. Both more private than this one.) We found a young woman ( I guess in her upper 20s) lying on a mat with a bowl of very humble food sitting next to her. She tried to raise herself up to address us and it was obvious that she was paralyzed.

Justice began to discuss her medical condition and the course of her treatment with her. She was not improving in regard to her paralyses and the tuberculosis which had settled in her spine, causing an enormous deformity there. It looked as if it was very painful and the obvious source of the paralyses. Pastor James tried to keep us informed of the conversation and I was trying to pray for the situation, my thoughts interrupted occasionally by new revelations of other persons in the hut - previously undisclosed in the remaining sleeping spaces.

Eventually Justice turned around to face us and explain that he was instructing her to continue her treatments for HIV and for the Tuberculosis. He explained that her prognosis was very poor without physical therapy and that it was very unlikely that she would be able to get it out in the area where she lived. He then invited us to pray with him for her. He spoke to her and turned around to tell us that she had decided to invite Christ to be her savior.

We all prayed as Justice prayed directly with her in their native language. As we were praying, the woman jerked back violently and fell to her back, laid out flat as if in a seizure. We instinctively moved in closer to pray more fervently, and then the woman screeched in her own voice. Pastor James turned to us westerners and explained that an evil spirit had revealed itself.

Once again we pressed in closer to the woman, laying our hands on her legs and praying as strongly as we could. And after several long moments, there came a peace over the room. The oppressive environment that we had become accustomed to, almost unaware because the entire space was so foreign to us, was lifted. We finished praying.

Justice gave the woman some further medical instructions. Pastor James gave her some spiritual instructions. Jordan and I smiled to give her the only thing we felt we could: silent encouragement. Then the group began to leave the house. I felt so unfinished that I spoke in English to the woman to tell her that God would be with her and that He would bless her. I didn't know what to say and I know that all she could understand was my spirit, so the words didn't really matter.

Just outside of the house (the rain stopped), Pastor James told us that the demon had said, "I came here to kill here to kill her. But since you are not going to let me do that, I am going to leave."

Back in the bus, Jordan and I sat unnerved. Excited, thankful, worshipful, relieved, and I was feeling unsure about how to retell this story to anyone. Jordan told me that he had experienced praying in other tongues during the most intense season of prayer. And He was obviously thrilled to have had God prove Himself present in that way.

Before we left Africa, we were informed by our missionaries that the woman had been approved by her attending physicians to be moved to the missionary complex in Masaka for physical therapy under the constant supervision of the staff nurses there.


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