Our teammates and good friends, Ben, Meggan and Andy are returning to the States today. They have lived in Madrid for just under 2 1/2 years and worked as the youth pastors for a local church. They are returning to the States at this time to pursue autism treatment for their son, Andy, and we are really sad to see them go.
A couple of weeks ago, our team gathered together for a goodbye party (despedida) for this family. The party was at our house, and I made a lemon cheesecake and a chocolate mint cheesecake in hopes that they would feel extra loved. At the party, we spent time saying goodbye, letting them know how much we love and appreciate them and sending them off with our prayers.
Ugh, it was sad.
Ben and Meggan have meant a lot to us personally, and in the midst of the crazy, chaotic stress of adapting to a whole new life, a nice friendship formed between us. (Side note: It is hard to make friends when you are stressed out, feeling inadequate, simply surviving, and the people you are getting to know are in the same place.) Meggan helped me a lot with planning Thanksgiving and our team retreat for 40+ people last fall and we celebrated together when it actually went well. Ben was another leader at camp last summer with me and he was my friend there. It was really nice to have a friend to talk to for a few minutes each day. We also have worked with Ben on a monthly youth event for multiple churches in Madrid and have appreciated his work to make that happen and the opportunity to work together. Ben and Meggan also have been huge team players for our missions team. They are always present and participating with team meetings as well as sharing the workload for airport pick-ups, overnight guests, helping other teammates with misc calls to utility companies…etc. It was always nice to know that they would do it if we couldn’t and hopefully they felt the same with us.
Personally, they gave us love and encouragement. A couple of weeks ago, we scheduled to have waffles and bacon for dinner together. In the morning, Ben posted on Facebook that he was super excited that we were coming over. When we arrived, he and Meggan jumped in front of the door cheering that we were there. That was the perfect way to summarize what they had given us. In a season of loneliness and adjustment, when people have more often thought we’re weird and it’s a chore for them to listen to our American accent, it has been a treat to have such friends that are thrilled to see us when we walk in the door. That really is a nice feeling.
Please pray for Ben, Meggan and Andy as they adjust back to life in the States and figure out what their new normal will be. We love you, guys, and will miss you SO much!