Madrid In March
~Report from Sandra Lovelace, International Consultant for HSLDA
When the Lord lays a plan it’s best to follow His direction. The way ahead may not be clear, but the blessings will be rich and varied. My recent trip to Spain confirmed these truths in ways I will do my best to describe.
At the outset, my assistant Katherine Loop and I light-heartedly named our adventure the “I don’t really know” trip. That seemed to be the answer we gave to whatever question we were asked about our upcoming time in Europe. We weren’t sure where we would stay. We didn’t know the details of our schedule. We had virtually no information about the conference where we would be ministering to homeschoolers. The one thing we knew was that God had opened the door and we were determined to follow Him through it.
Through the most amazing set of circumstances the Lord brought precious and courageous brothers and sisters to us to receive His loving touch. One couple came to the conference to learn how to follow their Savior’s call to homeschool their two sons. They shared how the Lord had brought them through a four year separation to a tender marriage totally committed to Him. Bringing their sons home for full-time discipleship would surely be the Lord’s icing on the cake of reconciliation. A mom arrived who had heard about the conference only the day before. She was struggling with the oldest of her six children who didn’t seem to fit the government school mold. A Bible verse I shared with her turned out to be one she had been given earlier in the week and confirmed for her the Lord’s direction to pursue home education.
An expatriate family from the north came to pursue their need for a satellite situation to circumvent government interference with their desire to homeschool. We discussed possible solutions with them as we enjoyed their six children. Katherine and I received positive feedback for the testimonies we offered to the Lord’s faithfulness in the individual homeschool experience and the larger cultural context. The faces and needs we encountered throughout our time in Toledo were many and varied. The Lord granted opportunities to offer information, support and encouragement in this familiar setting as expected. Little did I know that the truly major outreach of our journey was yet to come.
The last few days were set aside to enjoy a bit of Madrid. They began with a dinner invitation from Cesar Vidal, a famous Spanish author and brother in Christ. The lavish meal and engaging conversation were merely the staging for my next divine appointment. Cesar asked when we would be departing from Spain and asked if I would care to be a guest on his radio program. I chuckled to myself as I thought of the aptness of the trip’s nickname and gladly made myself available. I was confident in my casual but misapplied thought that I’d successfully taped radio programs in the past.
The following evening we made our way to the COPE radio station. God in His mercy did not reveal the true adventure ahead, so I calmly enjoyed the night lights of downtown Madrid. As we were brought into the studio I was told that César’s program interview would be broadcast live. There was no time to hesitate. As I literally stepped through the door, I felt bathed in the confidence fed by Ephesians 6:19. The hour-long program was dedicated to homeschooling and the topics went from a definition through socialization and legislation to results. It’s a little tricky to hold an interview with translation, but the Lord was faithful. I found the words I needed to encourage our brothers and sisters and César was pleased with the results. Families all over Spain got to hear the message that homeschooling is a viable, vibrant and God-honoring educational option.
The door was open, the way was never clear, but the direction was set. It would be unfair to say that every day went smoothly. There were unpleasant situations that aren’t worth the time to retell. God showed Himself in miraculous ways and this report is merely the beginning of the account of His blessings. Please join Katherine and me in asking the Lord to build a firm foundation for the amazing future He has planned for Spain.