I'm heading there as a co-leader of a mission trip with 8 college students from Georgia State University who are giving up their spring break to invest in the lives of students in Sevilla, Spain.
This trip is all for God's glory, for the people of Spain to know Jesus, and for these college students to grow further and faster than they ever dreamed possible in their faith. I go just to be a part of it all, to be an empty vessel poured into by God in order to pour out onto others. My prayer is that it's nothing of me, that's it's completely God's Presence going before me, before us.
Yet, I can't help but smile when I think about how this trip also has "Tony" written all over it.
In addition to Georgia State being Tony's alma mater, Spain is the one place Tony always dreamed of going to pursue an international degree. Spanish was his second language, and boy, am I wishing I had that skill right now as I cram Spanish terms in my forgetful brain! Though it's certainly bittersweet to go without him, I know he would be thrilled for me, I know he's cheering me on.
And so, I carry his legacy with me.
His legacy of appreciating other cultures and of making friends with folks so different from himself...all with the heart to exemplify Jesus to them...
The people of Spain need Jesus. Most have grown up in a religion that is merely a forced, cultural experience, void of the love, hope, and peace found in a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.
Our team will be partnering with a local church there, Parque Este, which is modeled closely after our church. We plan to conduct a series of presentations in high schools and a service project throughout the week, all leading up to a concert and outreach event for the community with worship leader Spanish Seth Condrey. Our hope is that many new faces will come to learn more about the church and ultimately come to know Jesus, not just as a religious figure, but as their one and only Savior.
I also carry with me Tony's legacy of challenging others to pursue their passions, to not settle for the ordinary life...
Tony always encouraged my passion for college students. My heart is FOR this generation; I just love them, I do! Honestly, not a week goes by that I’m not hanging out with at least a few 18 to 24 year olds. It was my college years that really set the foundation for my faith in Jesus, so my heart’s desire is to “pay it forward” for generations to come. When the opportunity arose for me to co-lead a college mission trip, I was in. I can see Tony smiling now. I knew I was gonna love being a part of these students' lives, but we have not even left yet, and my time with them has been beyond any blessing I could have wished for.
My heart melts to think about worshiping in Sevilla...worship music was how Tony best connected with our Savior and some of my sweetest flashbacks of Tony are of him swaying, with hands raised, singing his heart out to God. And, in Sevilla, we'll be worshipping in Spanish...how beautiful!
So, pray for us, pray for Spain, pray for God to do immeasurably more in and through us than we ever dreamed possible. Keep up with us on our blog - http://studentsforseville.wordpress.com/.
Dearly loved, in Spain...