By Cameron Deckman
When the pastor first mentioned it, they didn’t think it would be possible.
But he is already taking steps to make it happen.
It all began in the fall of 2022 when sophomore Luke Hewitt and his family were on a mission. They were helping start a church called Cafe Con Dios, or Coffee with God. The church resides in Chiclana, Spain.
A few months later, the Spanish pastor came to Indiana to speak at Rising Hope church, where Luke’s father is the pastor.
When speaking with Pastor Marcos Cruz after the service, Luke mentioned school. After a while, Cruz recommended that Luke study abroad.
“It was more of a joke at first,” Luke said. “And then it turned into a real thing when my parents took it seriously.”
Luke will be staying in Spain for the first six months of 2024.
His brother, Caleb Hewitt, was shocked when he found out Luke was actually going.
“Initially, he had talked about it, and I thought it was one of those things you talk about but never happens,” Caleb said.
Luke’s father was on board, but his mother wasn’t so easy to convince.
Her issue with the trip was the fact that Luke would be gone for his birthday.
Luke is a leap-day baby, meaning his birthday only comes around every four years. On Feb. 29, 2024 he will have his fourth actual birthday.
“She tears up and sometimes cries because she won’t be able to celebrate my birthday with me,” Luke said.
After a while, though, she agreed to it.
She knows he will be safe with his host family.
She says that if it wasn’t for the family she knew he was staying with, then he wouldn’t have been able to go.
Luke’s trip isn’t through a transfer organization; it is a mission trip for the church he helped start.
Luke will be talking to the younger people and bringing them to Christ.
School will be different for him in Spain. Each day he will go to class for a hour, he will have a different schedule, and will have six classes not including lunch.
The school he will be attending doesn’t host sports, but he will be playing for a soccer club.
The competition he will face is going to be more competitive than the teams he faces in Indiana.
“This is my third year playing, so I will be getting my butt kicked by third graders,” he said.
His biggest challenge is learning Spanish to speak with other people and for school work. He has been practicing by reading books, watching movies, and listening to podcasts and church services they have in Spain.
“Greek and Latin sucks in English, and now I have to do it in Spanish, which will be even worse,” he says.
Caleb doesn’t know Spanish well, but he tries to help in any way possible.
“Take an active, intentional step toward being positive every day,” Caleb advises Luke.