On April 16th Mary married Ben Bosse at the Village Chapel in Nashville. It was a joyous occasion for all. Mary was beautiful and Ben was just as handsome. It was a fun weekend all around. The Bosse family hosted the rehearsal dinner on Friday night, followed by a party at McNamara's pub hosted by Barbara's family from Little Rock. The wedding was followed by a reception at Belmont University. Ben and Mary have to pass on a honeymoon at this time as both are working full-time at their first jobs and Ben is finishing his Master's degree next month. We're hoping that they'll be able to come to Spain sometime soon for their trip. Check out http://www.jessicaoatman.blogspot.com/ for pictures of the wedding and reception. Thanks to all who attended and made this such a special occasion.
We've had the privilege of spending the holidays with friends and family in the US this year. While we miss our friends in Spain very much, it's been good to see our children and grandchildren (see photo above). We spent our family Christmas last week in Charlotte, NC, at Daniel and Virginia's home. We were able to see my sister and her husband in Memphis this weekend and are spending the next week in Little Rock, AR, with Barbara's mother and her family. Merry Christmas to all with all the blessings of the season.
We've spent the past month in the US after Barbara had to return for surgery for a ruptured disc. The surgery went well, and her recuperation progressing nicely. It's given us a chance to reconnect with friends in the Knoxville/Oak Ridge, TN area. Also, we've had the opportunity to spend time with our children and grandchildren, including new granddaughter, Ella Katherine (in photo with Barbara), born October 20th. We'll spend Christmas with Barbara's mother in Arkansas before returning to Madrid on January 4th.
We celebrated our 35th anniversary on July 19th with over 500 campers and leaders at the YL camp, SharpTop Cove. Our Spanish teens enjoyed the best week of their lives, and we were there to share it. While Jasper, GA, isn't exactly a romantic getaway and that many teens doesn't necessarily make a date, we enjoyed being a part of the fun. Hopefully, when the camping season is over the middle of August, we'll get away for a weekend somewhere in Spain. 35 years!! Could either of us possibly be that old???
We enjoyed a week of basketball camp the week of June 21-25. Each year the camp gives an opportunity to meet new students and their families and interact with them in a positive, fun environment. Special thanks to Steve Shipley and Janet Cockrum who came from the US to coach.
We're now in the Tennessee with 13 students from Madrid for our USA Summer Camp time (see photo above at the airport in Madrid). The students are living with families in the Knoxville, TN, area and working on their English in an immersion experience. We have several activities planned for the month, not the least of which is a week at Sharp Top Cove, the YL camp in north Georgia, July 18-25. After a few more days with the families, we'll return to Madrid on July 30.
In August we'll be taking students from Madrid to Joventura, our YL adventure camp in Catalunya, near Girona. It's a beautiful area that mixes the mountains and the sea. We'll be there from August 7-14.
Finally, the YL Madrid staff will be working on the Camino de Santiago, a historical pilgrimage in northern Spain, in September. We'll be working in a small hostel owned by Campus Crusade for Christ for pilgrims walking the Camino. Each night we host 10 pilgrims, providing them with a bed for the night, a family style dinner, and the love of Jesus. During the day we serve coffee, tea, and water to people who stop to rest and use clean bathrooms! Last year we talked with people from 34 countries in 5 days and had pilgrims form 17 countries spend the night with us.
We spent a busy two weeks in late February and early March at mission conferences in Knoxville, TN. After speaking at a conference on ministry in Europe at a church in Knoxville, we spent four days with the wonderful people at Christ Covenant Presbyterian Church presenting the YL Madrid ministry to them. Barbara spoke to their women's group on Saturday. They were great hosts and we thoroughly enjoyed our time with them. On Sunday we finished at CCPC and then shifted to Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church for their conference which lasts a week. It was good to be back with our home church which sent us out in 2004. Jim returned to Madrid on Friday while Barbara finished the week giving more presentations. After giving 15 presentations in 10 days, we both were tired but very satisfied. It's always good to share our vision for the work in Spain with friends and supporters. Thanks to the Sharps, Beamans, and Peters who hosted us.
We spent four great days in January at the European Regional Conference in Catalunya, Spain. The Young Life staff from three regions came together to hear from our President, Denny Rydberg, participate in workshops about minstry in our various countries, and just enjoy being together. There were staff from more than 15 countries in the United Kingdom and Europe. We had a great time of inspiration, fellowship, and fun. All of us headed back to our respective countries ready to get back to work.