Tim and Marilyn Westergren
(Many a time we´re called this; it´s only green in most of Spain in winter and spring!)
Our 2012 started with (many) more than 12 days of Christmas . . . 30 to be exact! Since Katey and Sarah opted out of
winter term at Calvin, we enjoyed them almost to the end of January! And it´s a good thing, because now we are on a
"fast" until the summer of 2013 when we, God willing, are due for our home assignment. (Four years sure fly by!)
Being parents of a junior and now senior at ECA (Hannah´s school) is a privilege, but it comes with major time
commitments since there are only 8 in her class! Junior‐sponsored events like the Junior‐Senior Banquet and the Senior
tea involves parents since teens can´t drive in Spain until they are 18 (and even then they all have to go to driver´s
school after their 18th birthday! The annual ECA rummge sale in May, the hot lunches and the Fall Festival are all
fundraisers for their Senior class trip, so that keeps us hopping!
Pastoring a five‐year‐old church, planning and recruiting for English Camp, organizing Global Ventures outreach
activities in the community, counseling and discipling, and teaching Worldviews at ECA and Hermeneutics at two
seminaries are our real jobs (see ministry report for more). Nevertheless, we did get away to the Canary island of La
Palma for a second honeymoon to celebrate 25 wonderful years of marriage. (My mind floods with sweet memories!)
This year we have celebrated life (and Marilyn´s 50th!) with music, too. Marilyn plays her violin in a trio with two dear
Spanish friends, Dafne and Ana. They call themselves La Cuerda Floja (the tightrope), don´t take themselves too
seriously, and play for family and friends. Tim plays his vocal cords with the local community choir Discanto (descant),
singing European Renaissance coral pieces and the work of John Rutter. As well as making (somewhat) beautiful
music, we took advantage of Madrid´s vast cultural menu to revel in the sound of three of the world´s best orchestras.
English Camp and Bridge dominate (we let them!) our June and July with the intensity that comes in organizing an
event for 125 children with 50 Yankee and Brit volunteers who are housed in Spanish homes. Add 30 teens to the mix
and it makes for a fun and exhausting experience. Our ninth camp and second Bridge were excellent. Martha Falk and
Marilyn headed up a three‐week edition of Bridge, including two weeks for junior high boys!
After our August camping trip (to our traditional spot on the Cantabrian coast in Galicia, Spain;
www.campingpobladogaivota.com) Hannah, Tim and I all jumped back in the routine of things in the fall. As for Katey
and Sarah, they worked three months at Snow Mountain Ranch, a YMCA camp in Colorado, with other Calvin students
as well as interns from Navigators and an unexpected United Nations of foreign workers and their international food
perks! They worked their tails off but had a lot of fun and learned a lot!
This year Hannah has chosen to board during the week near her school, permitting her to be involved in student
council, national honor society, volleyball, advising the junior high student council and teaching English to
neighborhood kids. She comes home on weekends, so we make up for lost time then. She is loving the growing youth
group and laments leaving next year.
Sarah a second year French/Social work major at Calvin College, is loving college life and especially enjoys international
friends and activities when she has time off from her two jobs. Katey, a third year Biology major at Calvin, also has two
jobs, yet finds time for international student activities and intramurals. Both girls sang in the choir that performed the
Messiah and will be participating in Calvin's annual international dance spotlight in the spring. They will be spending
Christmas with TIm's mom in Arkansas, which will make for a quiet Christmas in Tres Cantos.
We are especially grateful for Skype which facilitated decorating the house with Katey and Sarah watching, and allow
us to open gifts together on Christmas. We Wintergreens, uh, Westergrens, are flourishing in all seasons!
Peace of Christ. Tim & Marilyn
Prayer Requests/Answers to Prayer
1) On January 19 we hosted a brunch for our most faithful Global Ventures volunteers for two main reasons. 1-to let them know running an english camp would be impossible for us this year (Wendels gone, Tim serving as field director, us leaving before camp would begin, three other key volunteers also gone, the need to write new material, etc) 2-to ask for their commitment to form a new board for the year we are gone, and to carry on with the other activities we offer during the year. We praise God the response was very positive. They all understood and were supportive of us, and have signed up for the other 8 GV activities we organize each year. We were emotionally tired yet very encouraged by the meeting.
2) This year´s Love and Respect group for couples in going extraordinarily well. We have 8 couples. Only two of the 8 couples attend our church, the rest are unchurched. Pray this will be deeply helpful for all of the couples, that it will be used by the Lord for the unbelievers to draw them to Him, and that Tim and I will be able to prepare well for each week. We have never taught it before, are using incomplete notes from the former teachers, (who moved fairly suddenly to Latin America,) and lack time to dedicate to lots of preparation. We were planning on meeting every other Sunday, but last night they all voted to meet every week, giving us less time to prepare and learn each weeks lesson.
3) One of the reasons we have less time is because our Spain/Portugal/Italy field director is on a 6 month home assignment. Tim is the assistant field director and has taken on those responsibilities while Raymond is away. These are our last 6 months before home assignment meaning lots of extra work in the first place, so the pressure is on! Pray for great organizational skills for Tim, for the ability to maintain balance as much as possible, and for a deep sense of God's presence, blessing, and strength to fulfill all his responsibilities.
4) Pray that we (Tim and I ) will form an even stronger team in these months of extra work.
5) This morning we are meeting with our church leaders to form a plan to hand over our various church and GV ministries. (preaching and discipleship for Tim, (his seminary teaching is over for the semester!) and for Marilyn the Tuesday book club, friday book club and craft group, Gems club organization and three to 5 teachers for Gems (both current teachers will be unable to continue next year), women's discipleship and overseeing the cleaning and maintenance of the GV center. Pray for God's blessing on them and that they would take giant step of faith in this year and the years to come.
6) Pray for Jose Antonio, one of our church elders who is struggling with foot problems
7) Pray for Brigitte, another church leader who has a lot of family pressures right now.
8) Pray for Jeanette, who recently arrived from a large Alliance church in Chile. She is still getting settled but really wants to serve in the church as much as possible. Pray she will clearly understand the ministries the Lord has for her.
9) Pray for Hannah who has been accepted at Calvin and Cornerstone, but is waiting for word from Wheaton. Waiting is not easy, and I pray she will learn and grow in healthy ways in this time of waiting. We praise God she has made a strong commitment to Him!!
10) Katey had a fantastic experience at Urbana where her call to missions was confirmed. Thank you for the scholarship you gave her, it was a huge help and unexpected blessing.
11) We may have found a house in Grand Rapids belonging to professors who are going on sabbatical. If it all works out it would be a real answer to prayer. They are asking quite a bit more for rent than the Alliance allows, so we are looking for two college students to rent the fourth room to if the owners approve of us and this plan. Please pray that if this is the house the Lord has for us, the owners will give the green light to our proposal.
Thank you once again for holding us up in prayer, we deeply appreciate it. May God bless you all.
Tim and I serve the Kingdom of God in Spain through the networked, cooperative efforts of The Alliance (of Christians and missionaries who live out the call of the Great Commission together).
We are wholly and perseveringly supported by The Great Commission Fund of The Alliance. We are gratefully supported by many Christians who are allied with us as missionaries to touch this country and 60 others where we have been called to serve.
Updated: February 10, 2013
- Children's Names
- Field Assignment
- Country of Service
- Pueblos, 32, 1-D, 28760 Tres Cantos, Madrid, SPAIN
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