Basque Country and France too!

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The view of the downtown area of San Sebastian, Beautiful!

I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing this trip has been so far. I love the team relationships that i’ve been building. It has been great getting to know some of the other people that have been doing ministry with us while we are here. Right now I’m in a house with 4 guys and myself. Tom and Dave then also Daniel and Curtis who work with coffee oasis in Bremerton. Amazing ministry, I’m excited to see what they end up doing over here to further the kingdom.

I’m sure your curious as to what we have been up to… So far,we have really been trying to understand the culture to gain insight as to how we might better reach this people group. Slot of that probably looks different than most trips that people have been on. Defy morning we start out with a time of devotions, worship and prayer. Spending time as a team and hear how God is speaking to each of us has been key and has also opened up into some great discussions of strategy and insight.

On Friday we spent some time with Jeff S who lives here full time with his family. He has been working with the Basque for many years and has done a lot of research into the people and where they have come from. He also shared with us about some ways that it may be possible to break down the walls that are currently shielding the Basque from the truth. When it really ones down to it, it’s going to require the penetration of the holy spirit for break through to happen. We also did a tour of the coffee shops around town, this was helpful for the team from coffee oasis in order to let them get a feel for how coffee is currently being done and how they might be effective here, the rest of us just enjoyed the coffee!

Later in the afternoon we also spent some time with a former student who is Basque and got to ask him questions that have been on our minds about how the Basque think and work and try to understand them more from an insiders perspective. Jon was very gracious in answering our questions. Then he took us out that evening for Pinchos (Basque appetizers) at all of the local hangouts. They do thing totally different. We ended up just hanging outside each joint talking and getting to know each other. This was also a great time to catch up with Nancy and and hear about their first month here and how it is going for them. Most of the full time missionaries were able to come along with us. We would stand outside and Jon and one other person would go inside and get us food and drink and then we would just hangout in the street outside and eat and drink. Then you just throw your trash on the floor and they sweep it all up later… So weird! It was a great night and so fun, we ended the evening at about midnight with gelato!

Then on Saturday we had another great adventure. Most of us piled into the van that we have rented and headed toward France. Bill, Tom ,Dave, Dave, Cindy, Jeff (not the missionary), Daniel, Curtis and I headed out for the day.
We drove to Biarritz, met up with some of my YWAM friends there, we had coffee and crepes. Tom got to help make a crepe on a sidewalk stand. It was a beautiful in france, even though the rain was falling at monsoon rate! It was great to see a couple of friends that i haven’t seen in about 3 years and catch up with them to hear about the new base they are starting there.
After Biarritz we saw that the traffic on the highway was totally really backed up so we decided to take the back roads toward St Jean pied de por, talk about some beautiful country side with some old houses and farms. Also, lots of roads that make you carsick! We went and saw the city and did a little bit of shopping. This is one of the cities that SUSA hopes to open an outpost in to help bring more students to the US. We then continued up into the great Pyrenees mountains. We, of course, had to stop and buy a baguette while we were in France, Curtis was able to make friends with the shop owner and have his picture taken with her. As we made our way over the mountains we saw lots of beautiful scenery, sheep just roaming the hillsides. We then made it back into Spain, where we went to Elizondo to see one of Bill’s students that he has had in the US multiple times. She showed us around her village of about 4000 people. We had pinchos and drinks in the center of town then made it to their famous chocolate shop, and everyone picked up some. We were all teasing Curtis because he always seemed to be picking up girls. We finally started headed home and arrived around 9:30, when we finally sat down for some dinner. What a fantastic day to see where this ministry may grow to reach more basque people.

That has been the last couple of jam packed days that we have had. I’ve had no trouble sleeping at night with all the walking and busy schedule that we’e been keeping. Thanks for your onto Jed prayers. Each of you have sown into this people group and now have played a part in seeing them come to know the truth of the gospel. Thank You! Now for some pictures…

20110904-074919.jpg checking out one of the cool coffee shops. This is Sauna, Chase, Jeff and a few others.

20110904-075040.jpg St Jean Pied de Port

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<a St Jean Pied de Port

20110904-075423.jpgCurtis, Bill and Daniel

20110904-075511.jpgmore of the same city, it was beautiful!

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20110904-075649.jpg At the border of France and Spain, at the top of the great Pyrenees

20110904-075758.jpgElizondo, I just love the buildings!

20110904-075846.jpgElizondo

20110904-075915.jpgElizondo

20110904-075954.jpgmy first real crepe

20110904-080028.jpgour baguette stop in France

20110904-080128.jpg some of the French country side

20110904-080205.jpg cafe con leche

20110904-080852.jpgcoming down the mountain in Spain

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