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Category Archive for 'Madrid 2013'

The Journey to Spain Begins!

All Things Work Out…

After last minute packing and trip preparations, we pulled out of our driveway about 10:30am on June 18th. We probably brought more than we needed to, but the box of books we were planning to bring for a mission seminar in Madrid next week didn’t arrive at our house in time. After many phone calls trying to find them, we decided we couldn’t take the time to track them down to bring them. Fedex messed up twice on having them delivered to us. But we had put out an appeal for prayer that morning about these books, and amazingly, right after we left our house we got a call from the Fedex office requesting that we meet the driver in the delivery truck “on the road.” The driver called us and we ended up meeting her, getting the books and saving about an hour of time not having to go to a local airport to pick them up where they were suppose to be held. It was a very convenient “coincidence.”

Time in Vancouver

Our flight was scheduled to leave from Vancouver, Canada at 8:40 pm, so our plan was to spend the afternoon with my mom and my sister (Joanne) before heading to the airport. It was a beautiful day so we enjoyed the outdoors, having lunch on the patio and taking mom out for a walk to a nearby park.

My mom had been in Spain over thirty years ago, so she was excited for us to have the opportunity to go. She was trying to recall her time there and remembered she kept a journal of her trip. It was one of the best visits I’ve had with her in the last few months, she was alert, engaging in conversation and on topic. Physically, she is really declining, so it was great to see her happy and engaging in conversation.

Our Flights

Our flight left Vancouver at 9:20pm and we had hopes of sleeping most of the way to London. We all got a couple of hours sleep on the plane to London, cramped and uncomfortable, but none the less a little bit of valuable sleep. They had a few movies I had wanted to see: Oz, Les Miserables and Jack and the Giant Slayer. I enjoyed Oz (a prequel to the Wizard of Oz), but neither Les Mis. or Jack was engaging enough to keep me awake. The kids did well on the plane, the girls are very self-sufficient and Wesley was great too, although we did have to quiet down his excitement and cheering somewhat when the plane took off and landed–but it is a positive noise, so I don’t think anyone was bothered by it.

Our flights were great, even though the first one was delayed about 40 minutes. We made up about 20-25 minutes of the time, which was necessary because we only had 1:40 layover in London and barely made it onto our connecting flight. The kids and I ran ahead when Robby got stuck with security doing a thorough check of his bag; good thing we did as they actually held the bus for him which took us to our plane headed to Madrid. The flight from London to Madrid was about 2 hours and the plane was not even half full so we were able to change seats and avoid cramped seating, which was a great relief after about ten hours on a full plane.

Cuatro Torres (Four Towers) is the area where we are staying.

Cuatro Torres (Four Towers) is near the area where we are staying.

The terminal in Madrid is huge, and it was almost deserted. We got in about 6:45pm and stopped off at the restrooms after getting off the plane. As a result we lost the other passengers from our plane that would have led us through customs and to baggage claim. After wandering around a bit we found a lady who worked there that was escorting an elderly couple out, and she led us to customs—a 10-15 minute walk from exiting the plane. After we left customs we had a five minute train ride to another part of the airport to get our bags. From there, it was more straight forward–signs and reasonable distances to get our bags and exit.

Interesting architecture in Madrid near our apartment.

Interesting architecture in Madrid near our apartment.

We were grateful that Javier met us at the airport. We loaded our bags into his tiny car, and he took Robby and Wesley and our bags to our “apartment.” The rest of us couldn’t all fit into his car, so Javier gave us instructions on what train to take and Joelle, Dana and I took the train to the station near our apartment. After Javier dropped off Robby & Wesley, he picked us up at the station.

My first brief impression of Madrid is that it is very modern and clean. It has some amazing architecture. And it was only about 20°C, so not too hot.


Six Weeks in Spain…

or “What are the Butlers doing this summer?”

Joelle & Dana with some Afghan women we met in Greece.

Joelle & Dana with some Afghan women we met in Greece.

After a wonderful experience in Europe last summer, especially the time we had meeting and befriending Afghan refugees in Greece, we are excited to be going to another European city this summer. Last year most of our time was spent researching anything and everything we could learn about Afghan refugees, in order to help long term workers reach out to them.

This summer most of our time will be spent in Spain, assisting the long term team members there in reaching out to North African, mainly Muslim, immigrants. In between the two teams that we will be working with in Spain, (one the end of June and the other the end of July), we are planning to venture south to Morocco for a week to experience a Muslim culture and a taste of Ramadan. And, we will also have some time to explore the southern coast of Spain where there is a strong Islamic history.

Join us in Europe this Summer!

Our youth long for relationships, adventure and significance. If we don’t lead them to find these things in pursuit of God’s Kingdom, they will seek them out elsewhere.

Yet too often we cling to safety and security, and impose that on those we love.

Jesus did just opposite.

Jesus gave His disciples relationships, adventure and significance. He took them amongst the very kinds of people that we would avoid (and tell others to stay away from).

He didn’t just send them; first He led and went with them into such circumstances until they had the skills and confidence to work with the Holy Spirit. And that is the benefit of “on-the-ground” involvement in multiplying discipleship under experienced coaches—gaining the skills and confidence to work with the Holy Spirit.

This summer we invite you to join us in Europe for an experience which will

  • increase your understanding and boldness to multiply disciples right where you are,
  • equip you to guide others into effectiveness and boldness in witnessing and discipling, and
  • give children or young adults you bring a Kingdom adventure to make them want more.

We are coordinating this experience over two 10-day sessions:

  • June 23rd to July 2nd, and
  • July 24th to August 2nd.

For more background see these related posts:

If you sense God’s Spirit stirring you in this direction, use the contact information at right to let us know.