Of the 168 hours in a week at G42, around twenty hours are spent in the classroom, sixty hours are spent sleeping, and thirty minutes are spent brushing teeth. The rest of that time is spent in community. This is one of the most valued aspect of the six month internship and is a crucial addition to personal growth and discipleship while at G42.
During Jesus’ ministry, there were times when He taught and prophesied and performed miracles to large groups. However, most of His time was spent in deep relationship with a small group of close friends. Every day for three years, he ate, traveled, joked, worked, prayed and engaged in deep conversations with these twelve men. Near the end of his life, it was with those He lived in community with that he chose to build his church upon. Everything God does comes back to relationship. It is why we were created.
Because we believe nothing last happens outside of authentic relationship, G42 is designed to cultivate community in a way most have never experienced before.
G42 interns live together in the close proximity of Spanish-style housing and are given the responsibility of caring and cooking for their house. By design, the G42 community keeps an environment of both freedom and personal responsibility. For this reason, there are very few external restrictions such as a curfew, class attendance, travel or dating limitations. Interns are expected to maintain a high-level of accountability and create a culture in their house where prayer, prophecy, and service become habitual.
While G42 interns are living under the same roof, the staff is not much further away. Every member of the G42 community – interns, staff and directors – live within a five minute walk of one another. Most of the staff live with an open-door policy, and interns are often invited over for dinner, wine, coffee or games.
Jesus gave us the example of breaking bread as a common and important place of ministry. Even the Pharisees recognized the implications of Jesus inviting someone to His table: “While Jesus was having dinner at Matthews house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”’
It does not matter who you are–if you are God on Earth or an Average Joe – you have to eat. There’s something beautiful about taking time out of your day to prepare food for others and think of their needs before your own. Like love, there is something elemental about food, yet Western culture rarely tolerates slow, unfolding meals. But the table invites people into community, into conversation, into a home, and makes space for stories to be told.
The G42 table is about shared humanity. Dinners served every night to interns by interns are about sitting together around a table to say, “I’m with you. No matter how rough things are or how complex life is or how busy we are, we’ll make time for the table and relationship.”
At G42, dinner is a place where relationships are built and strengthened. At the table, interns learn how to be a life source for people who hunger to be known and accepted. The way to slow down and draw people in is to have something on your table, where even those with nothing in common can find commonalities in laughter, tears and curiosity. We just have to sit down long enough to find it.
Interns are not only encouraged, but expected to be involved and active in the Spanish community. The leadership academy believes you cannot make plans to thrive in future endeavors if you do not love and serve the ones God places in front of you in the present. While we strongly value and encourage startup initiative from our interns, we also have several exciting opportunities already established for intern involvement in the community.
MATTOO: Men Against the Trafficking of Others was created to address the demand problem that makes sex trafficking so difficult to defeat. Though there are many organizations designed to rescue women (the supply) from the sex trade, as long as the demand exists from men, women will always be replaceable in the market. Through education and events directed at men, MATTOO aims to eradicate sex slavery by ending the demand. G42 interns have the opportunity to work with G42 alum and Director of MATTOO in Spain, Steph Mendez. In the past, interns have led or taken part in MATTOO classes and become advocates for the organization.
ESL CLASSES: A few years ago, Bec Hearn, one of the founders of G42, began a modest English program for children after developing relationships with mothers in the community. While she started with only a couple young boys, today there are nearly 150 local Spaniards taking weekly English classes led by Traci Suttle and Steph Mendez, with teaching by G42 staff and interns. Ages range from 4-18 years old, and not only are English classes a great way of serving the community, but they have been the most consistent and powerful avenue for developing relationships among the locals.
FRIDAY NIGHT TAPAS: Tapas is not a widely known term in the U.S., but in Spain it is a part of everyday life. Tapas are a wide variety of Spanish-style appetizers and snacks that are served either during drinks, before dinner or when combined they can serve as dinner itself. To most Americans, tapas sound no different than appetizers. Tapas are intended to encourage long, unfolding conversations. They are small bites that slow the pace of consumption and divert focus from eating quickly. It is custom in Spain for meals to sometimes last several hours and for dinners to run late into the night. Every other Friday night, G42 hosts tapas night as an opportunity to spend time getting to know locals in the community. G42 makes the tapas and there is often music, Spanish wine and even games.
MALAGA: Perhaps the most underrated large city in Spain, Malaga has exploded in the last decade with a vibrant night life and an artistic young community. From the antique port bar frequented by Picasso, to the beautiful cathedrals and tapas bars that stay open and busy well into the night, visiting Malaga is a great way to experience a change of pace from the quiet streets of Mijas. Over the years, G42 has developed relationships with many locals in Malaga, and the G42 family is now well-represented there. Former alumni and G42 staffers Tara Stephenson and Shanda Dodd moved to Malaga in the Fall of 2014 and continue to stay involved in the community while developing and producing art exhibitions in the city.