Here we are with our Tenerife coworkers braving the cold near Toledo.
Another huge blessing was that we were able to lodge for the cost of utilities in the home of a missionary family on home assignment in the US. They have three small children, so my kiddos were elated to be able to play with new toys, and have a swing set in "their" back yard. They spent hours playing with a Thomas the Train set. I also discovered that Eliana has a deep love for dollies now! She fed, burped, soothed, disciplined, and instructed the dolls with a loud "OBEY GOD!"
Since we also were able to use the vehicle of this family, and housing was taken care of, and we could cook our own meals vs. eating out-- and since one of our huge focuses this year is language and culture acquisition, we made a "vacation" out of the conference. We were able to stay for a total of 2 weeks in the peninsula. We are cheap skates, so we saw the outsides of lots of pretty castles and cathedrals (even the cathedrals charge admission unless you are attending mass). We were extra excited to see Toledo, as one of our neighbors who we've talked with quite extensively had told us he really wanted us to see the place. He even called today when he saw us return home to see if we made it there. Nathan purchased this gentleman a small sword letter opener as a souvenir. (Toledo is known for their swords).
A bird's eye view of Toledo.
So, not only did we get to finally meet our coworkers in Spain, have free housing and vehicle, and get to know more about the culture in Spain--- but, God even took care of a few secret desires....
The white tiger at Loro Parque
That brings up the last thing I'm super thankful for from this trip. Several families courageously invited our crazy family of 6 over to their homes for a meal. That's no small thing. It was encouraging to me to get to know people better, pick mothers' brains on raising kids overseas, and forge new friendships.
So, thank you, Lord, for the ways you bless us beyond measure!