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Open Doors

An update from Pablo and Judi, RMM workers in Malaga, Spain.

We went to our environmental class this morning. Why this class? We try to follow open doors. 6 1/2 years ago when we arrived in Spain, we said, "now what?" It soon became apparent that to connect with people we'd have to do what they do, better yet, what both they and we like to do. We soon realized that teaching English would be a good way to get to know people. Then a student told me about a neighbor who sings in a choir, so we got involved. A couple from the choir invited us to sign up for this environmental class, and through it we've gotten to know lots of people and have done lots of things: excursions, hiking, and attending concerts through access to super-discount tickets. The class is taught by a left-leaning teacher and we talk a lot about politics. This morning’s topic was multinationals taking over the agricultural business and the super-secret American-European trade treaty meetings currently going on that will (supposedly) eventually impoverish countries like Spain.

Music is also a platform we use to connect with people. In addition to the aforementioned choir, a week ago we were invited to sing in a newly formed gospel choir. This makes two choirs for both of us, and I'm trying out a third, which sings more challenging music. The environmental class, along with the choirs, lead to the question of how many "platforms" can you stand on without falling off, or them running into each other? Judi has long said she'd like to sing in a gospel choir, but we didn't really see this coming. Spaniards seem to like this style, consisting mostly of American spirituals, but primarily as an art form, not a personal expression of faith. I wonder whether these themes, often birthed in suffering, oppression and injustice, don't somehow resonate with people and Spain's history—especially the Civil War of 1936-39. Those wounds have not been healed yet. No one in the choir, as far as we know, is a believer, which makes for interesting dynamics! Maybe confessing with the mouth will have some long-term faith impact. We hope to be around if and when that happens!