My first day in Vigo was yesterday. The weather was horrible. It was cold and rainy with winds up to about 50 mph. My umbrella blew inside out at least 10 times throughout the day. I definitely wasn't anticipating this kind of weather coming from North Dakota. To be completely honest, I would've rather been in the ice and snow. Fortunately this isn't common weather here. It does rain a lot, but not to the extent that the wind causes the rain to fall at a 75 degree angle. Well to be analogical, I saw these rains and winds as storms in our lives. That's what I experienced my first 24 hours in Vigo physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. It was so hard to come to a new place where less than 1% of the population is Christian after being constantly surrounded by family and friends who are on fire for God. I'm not saying I don't want to be here; of course I do! My roommates and classmates are awesome. But in taking that step of faith, there seemed to be something stirring that was trying to complicate things, cause me to fear, and lose sight of hope. My first day in Vigo, I was ready to go back home, not just because of the weather, but also because my heart hurt so much to wonder if I was really alone. But of course, God is always with us and always loving us no matter what state we're in. In fact, after I had just flown in, settled into my flat, and was ready to go to bed, I read Romans 15. I wasn't expecting much out of reading the Word to be honest because I was so tired and so anxious about the days to come. But I never expected to read what I read. Starting at verse 23, it says, "But now that there is no more place for me to work in these regions, and since I have been longing for many years to see you, I plan to do so when I go to Spain. I hope to visit you while passing through and to have you assist me on my journey there, after I have enjoyed your company for a while." SPAIN??? Spain was a nation way back then? And Paul went there?? I was shocked! I had never seen "Spain" in the Bible before! Sure, there was Rome, Athens, countries like Malta, and all those places around the Mediterranean, but Spain? When I read that, I knew that Paul obviously wasn't here physically, and he isn't the Holy Spirit, but it was like Jesus was stepping in and saying, "Hey, don't fear, I'm here, too!"
This morning when I woke up it was still cloudy and dark. It looked like rain. But after I got out of my first class, it was bright and sunny. The clouds had parted, and I could finally see the beautiful harbor in Vigo. It was breathtaking. Once the storm had passed and peace had resided in me, the sun came out and joy filled my heart. Hallelujah!
We started classes today. College here is so different than in the states. We get to sort of test drive as many classes as we want and then register for the ones that we like by the end of March. I'm very grateful for this system. I showed up to a couple of classes that I thought would be stupendous, and pretty much the first thing the professors said was, "Americans shouldn't be in this class." It's not that they don't like the U.S.; the topics discussed in class would be entirely too complicated for us. So after a couple of trial-and-error type experiences, I will have hopefully 4 classes and an intensive Spanish course.
I haven't taken any pictures yet. Hope you all are well.