Tuesday, May 09, 2006

La Ferria

Hello All,

It seems that we have come at a pretty eventful season in the life of the Jerezanos. You will remember that we arrived during Holy Week festivities, arriving on the high and holy Wednesday Night Catholic Mass prior to Easter Sunday. Due to a rain out, we were unable to observe and report anything back to you. Then, about a week or so ago, we had the Spanish version of Labor Day. That was a real relaxing day, as people flocked to the zoo and to the beach and to the other sites around the city of Jerez De La Frontera.

Then, just a few days ago, two events merged into one. First, it was Mother's Day Sunday here. Our church had a really excellent service, complete communion and a presentation of really thoughtful gifts to our Mothers in the congregation. Each Mom had submitted a few pictures of their kids to the "Mothers Day Commitee" and those photos were cut and then laminated into bookmarks. At the end of the morning, the kids got up and recited some verses to bless their mother's hearts.

But that was not the end of the day, for that same day signaled the beginning of La Ferria. It is the city fair, with a lighting ceremony which is really quite ornate. Thousands and thousands and thousands of tiny lights lit up the Jerez skyline, as the fair came to life. Fireworks, like the 4th of July went off in the background, and it seemed all of Jerez was in celebration mode. There were at least 4 to 5,000 people at this event, many of them dressed in beautiful, traditional Flamenco dresses and suits, revealing a very deep appreciation for the roots of this city. Ferria's impact is felt all over the city. Many of the businesses have set different hours and the city center, usually bustling with activity, is very quiet this week. The whole city seems to revolve around this event. There is a palatable excitement in the air.

Going out there to witness this event and seeing all of these people of Jerez, really gave me a sense as to how big this city is and how much opportunity exists here for God to do a great work. We have so many desires and plans and we pray that God will establish us here, so that we can commit to long term projects. Please pray along with us in that regard, and in the hope that some day people of Jerez would have another, much more eternal reason to celebrate.

Blessings To The Friends Of Spain,
Frank Sanchez

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