Opps! Sorry! I’ve been practicing my stumbling Spanish lately…meant to say, “Hey, everyone!”
I need to figure out how to say a good ol’ Rocky Top “Hey!” in a bunch of languages before Thursday! Tina and I are going to Spain to have a retreat with the awesome Young Life team in Madrid, including Jim and Barb McNamee (it’s AMAZING how many times, when someone is telling their story of how they came to Jesus, those two names pop up in the telling of it! God has used them all over!)
…and including our own Kate Sanders, who has been reaching high school and middle school kids both here and there for years now! (Almost sounds like a Dr. Seuss book! “…Both there and here, and here and there, Kate’s kids are everywhere!”).
After a couple of days of encouraging each other, we’ll be hopping in cars and heading north…to Galicia in northwest Spain to run a sorta “B ‘n B” or “hostel” (as they call ‘em) along the “Camino de Santiago” or “St. James Way”. It’s a pilgrimage more than 100,000 people do every year…walking and hiking for hundreds of miles (minimum for a certificate is about a hundred) ‘til they reach the cathedral of Santiago de Campostela, about fifty miles past where we’ll be. Tons of people do it just to get away from their Blackberries and laptops to seek some sense of peace from their normal, rush-y, push-y noise-y lives. Our job is to greet them along the way, open our house to fifteen to twenty a night, serve them a delicious dinner, and talk all day about Jesus to whoever’s up for that.
And there’ll be a lot of those!
We’ll talk to hundreds of people from all over the world who are hungry for a smile and some encouragement…as well as Barb’s delicious pasta! Last year we met folks from thirty seven countries in a week!
That’s why I’m working on my greetings.
I’m good with the “Buenos dias!” and the “Bon jour!”. I can even throw out a “Guten Morgen!” when I have to. But what if someone from Itbayaten comes down the road? How am I gonna remember, “Kapian ka pa nu Dios aschapanderak…y’all!” ?
And the Kalaallisut people in Greenland say, “Unuugujoq!”…Wow!
Kwakiutl folks in British Columbia greet each other with “Gilakas'la!”
Thankfully, they also say, “Yoyo!”
Sounds kinda Hip-hop…”Yo! Yoyo!”
One of the most amazing things about this coming week is that we would have to travel all over our world to speak to so many people from so many countries! If we had to travel to all the countries everybody that we’ll meet comes from, we’d wind up in ICU with critical jetlag! Instead, all we do is sit there by the road that passes through Ligonde…and they come walking down the road to us!
It almost feels like cheating!
Which reminds me…
Ever felt like you wish you had someone to talk with about the stuff going on in your life? Ever wish you knew where you could go to find someone who would care enough to pray about a struggle you’re having?...Or listen to a story of something cool that happened to you? …Or find someone who just wanted to spend an hour hanging out with you? Where would you have to travel to find that person?
Try this. Go up to 100 Ogden Rd on Sunday morning. Get there about 9:25. Go into where we worship. Go up to the front and just sit there. Or go into the room just to the left of the big room. At 9:25 there won’t be anyone in there. Just go in and sit down. Or go into the room next to that room…the one on the end opposite the nursery.
Pretty soon, people will start walking in. Before long, a bunch of folks will walk into those places and sit by you. You don’t have to go looking for them. They’ll just come walking in there. It’s called a “Community Group”. People come there because they want to be together. They want to be friends in Christ. They want to hear each other’s stories…including yours. They want o pray for each other’s problems. Including yours. They want to grow together…with you. You don’t have to look for all those people. You just sit there and they come walking down the sidewalk and into the room.
It almost feels like cheating.
But it’s just the family of God.
Bye for now!
Or as they say in Mexico…Hasta la vista!...
Or in France au revoir!...
Or in Italy…Arrivederci! Ciao!...
Or in Germany… auf Wiedersehen…
Or in Korea…ahn nyung hee ka se yo!...
Or in Poland…do widzenia!...
Or in Lithuania…iki pasimatymo!...