The Greens in Spain

Update posted by Ben Green On Oct 04, 2017

Hi all! We're gradually adjusting to the new school year. Yohan is back in school for the whole day each day, after a couple of weeks coming home at lunch time. Lydia is settling really well in her new role and is enjoying her non-stressful job in the British private school. My timetable is back up and running with the majority of my day spent teaching and travelling up and down the city.

We currently have a potential au pair staying us with a view to taking over from our friend at church who is currently helping us out. Finding someone who can look after the boys when we are both out at work was a top priority for us when we got back so it is good to be making progress.

We still have many friends, especially in the UK, asking us how they can help and support us. As always, prayer is the best help! You can use the below as prayer pointers. After that, if you'd still like to give something to assist us on mission here, then read on for our priorities and biggest needs. We very much feel that we are missionaries here. Whilst Spain is a wonderful place to live - we didn't come here to 'improve our lives', sit on the beach or make a million. We are here to serve God and the church. Our jobs, currently, only just enable us to do that. Like Paul made tents to support his service of the church, so we teach English for the same reason. As such, we still face the challenge of surviving on the mission - our jobs don't pay anywhere near as well as the ones we left in England. We are EXTREMELY grateful for the amazing support we get. Thank you!

Priorities/needs:

1. Find an au pair - this is progressing well.

2. Make friends (with Spanish speakers) - this takes patience and time. It means sacrificing hours you could be making money or sleeping (!), but it is so important for us to put roots down and for people to find out why we are here.

3. Learn Spanish - we both need classes. After teaching English for a year, we are aware of the impact that spending time and money learning in a consistent way with the right teacher can have on learning a language. We are both learning as we go and working hard at it but we want to accelerate now and kick on. After all, it will only help us with Priority #2, as well as increasing our job prospects in Madrid. The need here is for weekly classes for the both of us for at least a couple of hours each week, which would likely cost around €20/hour. Certainly not cheap. This funding campaign now has a target that, if reached, could give us a boost of a few months learning Spanish, which would put us in a great position to be where we want to be this year.

Cataluña

Please pray for the leaders of the Spanish and Catalan governments, for the people of Spain and especially Catalans. The situation is a true crisis in that both sides now fundamentally disagree on how the law that governs Spanish sovereignty officially functions. Spanish friends of mine despair because the mistakes, pain, disagreements and corruption of the past are now fully coming to bear and the impasse between the sides seems utterly impossible to remedy. Actual independence is in many ways not the biggest problem or issue. The problem is the complete enmity and blame shifting on both sides and the actions that result from this. Pray!


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Update posted by Ben Green On Sep 25, 2017

After a long and protracted stay in England over this last summer (almost 3 months in the end) it feels both strange and lovely to be back in Madrid. To those we managed to catch up with, it was so great to see you and be encouraged by you. Your support is literally invaluable and we count on it! To those we missed, we miss you!

We return to Madrid with greater faith and determination than before. Knowing the challenges we'll face that little bit better, means we know how to prepare better. There are less unknowns this year and more opportunities to put our roots down. Practically, we are delighted that our landlord has permitted monthly rent payments for the coming year. This will really help us. We're happy to stay where we are for a year or so. Yoyo loves his school and his friends and with having been through so much rapid change in his life recently, it is a good idea to keep things steady for him. Also, the neighbourhood is well equipped for family life and well connected to the rest of the city.

Lydia has started her job in the British private school in the northern suburbs and is already making herself useful like only she can. For example, she has agreed to tutor a boy who has slipped behind in his school work due to health problems and family bereavement. She's a gem. I'm back in the same school in Getafe, the opposite end of Madrid, down south. It is so nice to go into classes and know the kids and their names from the start this time. I love the school. I'm also picking up private classes, including teaching some teachers at my school!

At church, Lydia is in charge of crêche again this year and I'm helping out with Cristo Salvador social media alongside co-ordinating the language exchange (intercambio) mission group. Pray for the church, it's a difficult time in many ways. The battle intensifies every time the church experiences growth and last year's growth was significant.

Please pray for our language learning too - which continues to be an uphill struggle. Finding the time is the key! Pray also that we adjust financially this year. Each year will get costlier as Yohan, and next year Alexis, progress through school and get older. Our aim to really establish ourselves here depends on the right amount of money coming in and job opportunities too - we really are on the lowest rung of the ladder in terms of income in our jobs as it stands.

Any gift, however small, genuinely enables us to give more time and energy to the mission and to the church here. Thank you!

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Update posted by Ben Green On Sep 30, 2016

All smiles! Mostly.

30th September 2016, and we’ve been here together as a family for a month. It has been intense and we’ve needed to learn fast but more so it has proved to be a wonderful beginning to settling into a new city and country. A lot has happened…

  • We moved into our apartment on 5th September. Our piso is in Valdeacederas, part of the Tetúan barrió, close to Plaza de Castilla – a north-central transport hub. We are very happy here, having found a place that ticks almost all of the boxes for our needs.
  • Ben started work officially in school as a language assistant on 16th September and is enjoying it. He works in a private, all age Catholic school in Getafe – a half hour train ride from Madrid centre. He’s now looking for some private English classes to supplement his income.
  • Yohan started school a few days ago (September 26th)! He is tired but happy and is adjusting very well. We’re so proud of him.
  • Lydia has begun the business development phase for her plans to set up a small young learners English language playschool.
  • We are gradually getting more involved in church life – we are in mission groups (fortnightly gatherings with church and non-church friends), Ben plays keyboard in the worship band, Lydia often runs crêche (generally our boys and one other!) and we see church people regularly during the week.
  • We have a GoGetFunding campaign – lots of people have asked how they could help and support us from back in the UK. The best thing you can do is pray for us, but if you’d like to help financially to support our mission here in Madrid, then you can do so by clicking here.
  • Ben may well be making an appearance on a super-cool Madrid food blog in the coming months. Until then, keep an eye on that blog at MuchBites and follow theirInstagram.

Please keep praying for us, thank you for thinking of us. There are plenty of everyday struggles but we are so grateful for how well we are settling in so far and the help and support we’ve received.

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The view from the office at Ben’s school – Jesús Nazareno in Getafe
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Louise Collins

Backed with €10.00 On Sep 25, 2017

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Louise Collins

Backed with €10.00 On Nov 30, 2016

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Abi Chalmers

Backed with €30.00 On Oct 23, 2016

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Nick Mudge

Backed with €50.00 On Oct 22, 2016

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Even if this is just to help keep the food on the table, anything to help you guys out.x

Craig Bourton

Backed with €100.00 On Oct 22, 2016

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Louise Collins

Backed with €10.00 On Oct 02, 2016

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Anonymous

Backed with €2.00 On Sep 30, 2016

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Ben Green

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Lydia Green

Assistant Campaign Owner

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Abi Chalmers

Following Since Oct 22, 2016

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Ben Green

Following Since Sep 30, 2016

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