Sabbatical year

School, English Classes, and Emergency Rooms in Spain

Sorry for the delay in posting. Our plan was to post something Friday night, but instead we were introduced to the Spanish medical system…

Our first hospital visit

All four kids wanted to sleep together in the loft, and we let them since school would be starting next week. It wasn’t long before we heard Abby start screaming. Parents – you all know the difference between an offended cry and an injured cry. This was a major injury cry. We rushed upstairs and found Abigail with blood rushing down her forehead. There had been a game of “monster,” Hunter had pushed Hannah, who fell open-mouthed toward Abby, giving her a gash across her eyebrow.

Paul Cummings came to our rescue and drove Abby and I (Emily) to the UTC here in Algete where they promptly referred us to the hospital since the cut was on her face and she was so young. Off we went, Abby pleading that she didn’t want to go because she was scared of getting stitches. Luckily, they were able to use medical glue instead of stitches, and the doctors and nurses were very kind and comforting. All is well now, but we have to remind Abby that if she is wild and bumps her eyebrow, she will have to go back to the hospital and get stitches this time.

We had made it six years without an ER run with the kids, but it only took us six weeks here! We’re again counting our blessings for having veterans here who have been so good and helpful to us in those kinds of difficult times.

Everybody ready on the first day of school.
Everybody ready on the first day of school.


On to other news… the kids began school today! We registered and dropped off Ella, Abigail, and Hunter this morning. It’s hard in moments like this to put away the American mentality of goals, planning ahead, etc. We found out which school the kids would be attending on Friday, and we received their registration papers as we dropped them off. Completing their paperwork took us all the way until time to pick them up. Note: if you ever plan to live in Spain, plan on LOTS of paperwork!

The kids all seemed to have a great first day of school. The English teacher for the primary school spent some one-on-one time helping Ella, and all three kids already have started making friends.

Our prayers are for easy transitions for the kids. We know they’ll have hard times and going to school in a different language will be difficult. They may get picked on for being different and we’re preparing for that, as well. We have had immense blessings prayed over them by our missionary family: that they would find favor in the eyes of the teachers, that they would find friends, and that they would learn quickly and confidently and be kept safe in an environment that is so different from home. We know so many of you have prayed especially for the kids. Thank you! We will keep you posted.

Doing paperwork for the first day of school! Sylvia tells us this will be a picture enjoyed by missionaries around the world.
Doing paperwork for the first day of school! Sylvia tells us this will be a picture enjoyed by missionaries around the world.

English classes

In our early conversations with the Cummings about the ministry here, we’ve talked a lot about two things, in particular: finding ways to have more contact with youth and young adults, and worship services for the new church being planted here, though there isn’t yet a space available. Then two weeks ago, Algete’s Director of Education called the Cummings and asked to meet. When they met, she asked if Paul and Sylvia would coordinate English classes for youth and young adults. (There’s a huge desire to learn English here.) She offered to provide supplies and space and, to top it all off, in lieu of payment they could have space owned by the town hall for church services. What an answer to prayer!

Sylvia likened this to the story of Moses, when the princess pulled Moses from the river and Miriam offered to bring a woman to nurse and care for the baby for the princess. They were asking the Cummings to do what they had already wanted to be doing here in Algete. This is also giving more definition to what Teddy and I will be doing while we’re here. Teddy will be teaching youth English classes every Wednesday, and we’ll both be teaching young adults’ classes on Friday. We’re hoping this will be a great additional way to meet some youth and young adults in the area.

We thank the Lord for preparing in advance what he wanted to be done here. We ask for prayers for those who come to the classes, for proper preparation and for God to guide our conversations.


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