Valencia September-October 2017
It will be in the middle of September that summer will be over and autumn will begin. Nowadays, these terms seem very irrelevant to the Mediterranean Valencian area, the heat is relentless and somehow we just long for rain and a fresh wind to clear the atmosphere. Without doubt, the church of the Lord also needs that freshness. Much more than the physical aspect of rain, but something similar to a downpour. We too long for that intimacy that marks the difference, that makes our services and our community a place of refuge from the onslaught of sin. This is not wishful thinking; we are praying for that special visitation.
Recently, preaching at La Parroquia from Acts and the ministry of Paul, I made the case as to how remarkable the leading of the Lord was in bringing Paul to Corinth. A city which felt the power of the Lord as Paul preached Christ and Him crucified. What an amazing divine intervention in that city, which the Lord signalled as a place where He had many souls who will trust Christ and follow Him. This, in the middle of many fears, encouraged Paul to preach and teach. I want to believe, that the Lord has also many people here in Valencia. It is the natural longing of any pastor in any city that the Lord will bless that ministry of preaching Christ. Please, join us in prayer as we seek to preach Christ as our priority number one.
The work of our NGO Asociación Ekklesia Solidaria continues; Phase 2 of the food distribution has just began. Yesterday, I sent the list of 131 families, this is 415 people to the Red Cross. The food is expected to arrive at the end of October, so that gives you an idea that people have to wait a long time before getting that help, and although the quantity of food received is considerable, they will soon run out of it. The logistic and practical administrative effort is recompensed when genuine help is given, both material and finally, spiritual. Everybody involved in this work has that vision well established: we are here to reach people; we don’t use the food as a tool for evangelism, we use relationships and much love in demonstrating God’s love. Pray for all of us and that the work done will honour Christ.
We will also restart this autumn the teaching sessions for the leaders involved in the work of the Church. This is crucial that we are all of one mind in our theology and praxis, the core of our convictions have brought unity and purpose. Pray for the pastors, and all ministries involved in Sunday School, youth work, etc. Praise the Lord for his faithfulness. Remember us in this task.
In October, the churches in Valencia will gather together to celebrate a time of worship and preaching the word. As it happens an effort is being made also to remember the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Last July, the events celebrated in Madrid had a tremendous impact, including an audience with the King of Spain who welcomed a representation of the Evangelical Churches into the Palace. Hence, on this occasion we are looking forward to getting together and praising the Lord. Give thanks for all these opportunities.
This summer from 31 July to 4 August we held our annual Church Summer School at La Parroquia. This year we focused on teaching the children how to handle their emotions and feelings and how they can trust God to help them when they feel lonely, sad, let down or angry.
We all know the challenges children face daily at school such as peer pressure and various moral dilemmas. Therefore we thought it was essential to equip our children with the tools and guidance that we find in God’s Word on how to deal with all their feelings and emotions in a healthy Biblical way. We were very pleased to have many children that are not regular church goers come and hear God’s word. We believe that the seed sown in their hearts during this week will bear fruit and that they will come to know Jesus. We’ve already begun to see this fruit in a little girl who came to last year’s Summer Camp and this year’s Summer School, for this past year she has been attending church sometimes accompanied by her older brother and sometimes by herself.
Please pray for our Children’s ministry. Pray that God may give us wisdom and enable us to serve these children with hearts full of love and passion for what we do.
At home, both Joel and Elis will continue their studies; give thanks for all the provisions. Both Helen and I are well and in good health. Thank you for your faithfulness in prayer and your support to sustain our work here in Valencia.
Thanks for remembering us. Thanks for being there.