Welcome to TEAM Finnell’s Blog. Lauren and I will be using this as a venue to share a little more extensively about our preparation, departure, and eventually life in Spain. We have been called to help spread the Gospel of the Christ in a foreign land and this is a confusing, frustrating, inspiring and exciting time for us. In this first blog entry I’d like to tell a little about myself, how I plan to use this blog and answer some FAQs.
I hope to use this blog as an opportunity to talk about my experience as a new missionary serving in a foreign culture. I’m going to try to be honest at times about my struggles, but also about the things I’m interested in and what I’m learning along this journey. I enjoy reading and I like to read lots of different kinds of books. I hope some will be worth talking about here. Some not so much, but I like to talk about them anyway. My hope is that this will be a way for our supporters, friends, family, and anyone interested in the world of missionaries to connect with us while we are very far from our “home”.
We get a lot of questions about this journey and I’m going to use this as an opportunity to answer some of the more common. If you ever have a question I’d love to discuss further so use one of the many social media outlets to connect with us from our web site.
When are you leaving?
Our departure date is sometime in September. We have a lot to accomplish before then but I believe God has called us and he will get us through the many hurdles in front of us.
Where will you live?
Our first year will be spent in a town called Alcalá de Henares, meaning Citadel on the river Henares. This our first destination because of its proximity to the language school and availability of public transportation to and from Madrid. It is also close to ECA, a missionary kids school that we hope to be involved with.
What will you do when you get there?
While in Spain, I will have the opportunity to use my skills and training as a professional counselor to work as Regional Member Care Coordinator. This role includes training, supporting, counseling, and encouraging missionary families in the region. The goal of this kind of ministry to equip and sustain the team of missionaries in the region so they may remain in the field and do the work God has called them to in a healthy, effective, and efficient manner. Eventually I hope to have an opportunity to travel through Europe and North Africa to provide the same kinds of support to other regions.
In addition to caring full time for our two children, Lauren will have the opportunity to use her background in teaching to work with Spaniards teaching ESL and begin developing relationships with other moms in our neighborhood. Estimates show that there are over 46 million people unreached by the gospel in Spain. It is a very postmodern culture which has been hardened to the Gospel over many years. Our Goal is to help plant relevant reproducing churches among the people of Spain.
Do you speak Spanish?
No. My standard joke here is “I took Latin 1 twice in high school and it wasn’t because I liked it.” Lauren has a little Spanish from school but I’ve got nothin`. Pray for me because I am nervous about this.
I hope to update this blog often so please check back often.