Serving Jesus In Spain [in images!]
How you can pray for us as we wrap up the month of May and June in Spain
We celebrated my (Rose) 38th birthday by taking some Spanish friends to Indian food in downtown Alcalá. They have 3 young boys, and we tried to keep them entertained with bilingual guessing games, conversations, and, ok, a little screen time, as we sat outside waiting for the onion bhaji, chicken curry, and biryani. Instead of cake, I put a scoop of vegan ice cream in an iced coffee. During the time, our friends opened up a bit more about parenting struggles, and we were able to share how we talk to our kids about God’s love, grace, our sin and obedience, and how it all ties together. Please pray for these friends, A. and I.. We have frequent spiritual conversations with them and will miss them so much when we are traveling in the states, but we just learned that they are moving away in June.
It seems that the Lord has used the pandemic and resulting disconnections to help us release our ministry in Alcalá. If our friends hadn’t moved away, if we were still part of the group of kids from Austin’s Spanish school, if we felt we had a thriving ministry from our apartment, I think it would have been more difficult to say yes to this new opportunity in Cabanillas. It was hard as it is, because we are leaving a precious church! But in terms of need and impact on lost friends, we feel that God has wrapped up one ministry in order to prepare us for another. Every time we are able to participate in the church or events in Cabanillas, we feel God confirming our calling there.
Our coworkers who will be retiring when we are on furlough have some ministries that we will be able to continue. For example, Rose recently joined Ken Muckle for his last English Reading Group of the year. They were wrapping up reading A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, and had a discussion about people whose lives were changed by a single event. Ken even had the opportunity to share the Gospel in this meeting. I look forward to continuing this ministry when we return!
Speaking of returning, we want to ask you to pray specifically about starting or increasing your monthly financial support so that we can make up our deficit and return to Spain by the January 24 deadline. If we cannot return, we will have to start our visa application process over, which is a laborious and expensive process. We are currently about 80% supported and we look forward to seeing how God will meet our needs - as He has always done - before we are set to return. We’ve already seen some increases come through and we are so grateful.
Praise the Lord & Pray With Us
50 women came to our ladies event on May 7, 15 of them unsaved. A presenter for a Christian program on TV called Buenas Noticias spoke very clearly on Jesus as the only way to have peace in this world. The best part was that women at the church did almost all the work of planning, inviting, decorating, preparing a light snack, and leading the craft. If all the missionaries were on furlough, the event could still have happened! That’s what we long for.
Chris and I have found replacements for our jobs at the church in Alcalá at the sound board, cleaning team, middle school group, and preschool teaching. Please pray that the Lord raises up 1 or 2 more people who can teach children.
We visited the mother church of the church in Cabanillas on Spanish Mother’s Day. It was a blessing to worship with a larger congregation and the kids had a great time. We have met all the Elders of that church now and they are happy that we will be serving with Federico and Lucia in Cabanillas del Campo in January. The photo below is their family!
Someone will be living in our apartment while we are on furlough! This is a huge answer to prayer.
We wrapped up kids club with a couple of children asking questions about how to be saved. Pray we can have some contact with these kids over the summer.
Austin and Susanna, and Board President Chris, have wrapped up another year at Evangelical Christian Academy. We will homeschool first semester of 4th grade (Austin) and 5th grade (Susanna). They both excelled this year under the care of their amazing teachers. Please pray for Chris as he leads the team responsible for hiring a new director. He will be presenting during the high school graduation tonight.
On May 14 we shared a Gospel Conversations workshop with the church in Cabanillas. It was a joy to hear their testimonies and their heart for their own friends and neighbors. Please pray for the community there, that God would prepare the soil for us and use our small church.
On May 20, we took our oral exams, and on May 21 we took the written portion of the Spanish exam. We would both love to see B2 proficiency when we get the results! Regardless of those results, language acquisition will still be an important part of our second term.
On June 11, we will be attending a family camp for members of Brethren churches and Rose will be assisting her friend Priscila with the children’s program.
English Camp and VBS begin July 4! Please pray for all the kids who will be invited, and that we see more kids during the VBS portion. The theme is Safari, the same one we did when we came to Spain for our survey trip in 2009.
Pray that during our home assignment we can meet with the right pastors, missions teams and potential supporters who will partner with us to get us back to Spain in January.
We are thankful for our many ministry partners who make serving Jesus in Spain, where less than 1% know Jesus Christ personally, possible.