Located at the end of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage trail, we have the potential to interact with pilgrims of all ages from all over the world. Most are engaged in reflecting upon their spiritual condition, and through our welcome center, we have the opportunity to connect deeply with them.
A plate of cookies
Last summer a Swedish pilgrim named Carl* spent a few weeks in Santiago after he walked the Camino. He came into Pilgrim House almost every day and our team got to know him and enjoyed talking with him about life and Jesus. When he decided he would finally leave Santiago and move on, our teammate Gale baked some cookies for him as a farewell present. He left Santiago and started walking backwards on the Camino, toward France.
A gesture of kindness
On the way he stayed in the hostel where our friends Mariano and Fanny worked. After dinner, as pilgrims shared about their pilgrimages, Carl encouraged the other pilgrims to visit Pilgrim House when they arrived in Santiago. There, he said, he had met wonderful people who had helped him better understand love. He shared how Gale had made the best cookies he had ever tasted, and that he had been touched by her seemingly-small gesture of kindness. He declared that actions like these were the ones that could change the world.
When Mariano shared the story with us, Gale was genuinely surprised at how Carl felt about her cookies. It’s not very often that we hear back from those we connect with. We were so encouraged to see how the Lord used Pilgrim House, our team, and Gale’s cookies to impact an individual pilgrim in this way. It’s even more encouraging that Carl’s story continued 70 kilometers away with Mariano and it continues still.
We remain convinced and grateful that God continues to pursue pilgrims like Carl.
In ministry we always say, “It’s not up to us, it’s up to God.” Sometimes we mean it, yet other times we act like it really is all up to us.
There are moments, however, when we see how something we’ve done has touched someone, yet we see how only God has woven those moments together where people truly experience Him.
International Teams is a global nonprofit organization fueling a movement to change the future of communities worldwide through integrated community transformation. We bring people together to help the oppressed to see lives and communities transformed by the power of God. With Jesus and with each other, we change the future.