They say that all good things come to an end – and that includes my ERASMUS stay in Madrid! Yesterday was my last day and I found myself growing strangely sentimental…I spent most of my day trying to fit all my belongings into my suitcase and then with friends. Having lunch with my Colombian sister one last time and going to Puerta del Sol in the city centre one last time. The team of street evangelists there so passionate for Jesus Christ have had such an impact on my life through their lives of integrity and love for God and people! I felt a bit sad to think of leaving but at the same time grateful and excited! Grateful for these incredible eleven months and all I was able to learn and experience! And excited about returning to Germany and about what plans God has for the future!
I found myself thinking of Psalm 23
A Psalm of David. (New King James Version)
The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
This song King David sings to God is one I can truly join in on! I have found Him to be my Shepherd – providing for me here in sometimes miraculous ways! Guiding me, protecting me, comforting me and filling me with his peace that passes all understanding!
Thinking back on this year and all that God blessed me with I can truly say “my cup runs over – my cup overflows”!
I think of my Colombian friends who adopted me into their family and overwhelmed me with their love and acceptance, their jokes, their visits, their seemingly endless amount of time and patience!
I think of my University and the friendly professors and classmates who made it easy for me to settle in and feel at home on a new campus!
I think of the people in the streets, shops, bars who never made me feel unwelcome as a foreigner but treated me with friendly smiles and respect.
I think of the “On the red box” team who were so patient with me and my many questions and my crazy ideas and all the ups and downs…
I think of the times preaching in the streets and how God gave us the opportunity to show people his love and the reality of their separation from him because of sin – their need for Jesus Christ! I think of good conversations, humbled hearts, people opening up to hear more about Jesus and starting to think about their lives and where they will spend eternity!
I think of my church Amistad Cristiana and how fast I was made to feel like I belong! Was blessed and challenged by their love and humility and the way we were always encouraged to just fix our eyes on Jesus above all things and to not forget the life-changing power of the gospel in our daily lives!
I think of my young adults group Ignition and how these young people who seemed a bit crazy to me at first taught me to believe beyond what I see and to remember that our God is all-powerful and still does miracles today!
I think of the city in itself…the many times I made my way from one place to another by train, metro, bus, bike or on foot…the many hours I enjoyed walking by night through familiar streets soaking in all the sights, sounds, smells and admiring the pretty lights of the palace, the bars, the lanterns across the bridge of Toledo.
I think of “my forest” near my University or other parks and woods where I could go for a run or just spend time enjoying God’s beautiful creation and having time for myself.
I think of all the cultural things I learned…the culinary delights I was privileged to try…and the gradual process of becoming more comfortable speaking Spanish and falling more in love with the language…the city…the people…the country…
I guess I just want to say thank you.
Thank you to all of you who allowed me to become a part of your lives for this short time.
Thanks to Madrid – you will always be another home for me.
And thanks to God – for bringing me here and blessing me in so many ways!
My flight is in a few hours. Thanks for accompanying me these months in Madrid! I did not post half the things I meant to but who knows, maybe I’ll be back and will get another chance to describe the delights of Spain’s capital and life with metro, churros, ham and street musicians…