Valencia September-October 2018
In my daily reading of the Word a few days ago, Psalm 34 stood out with such force that brought comfort and purpose. It is a beautiful psalm, apparently written during a difficult period in the life of David, but my interest is to share the simplicity and profound statement in verse 8 in its totality: “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” The first part of the verse is often quoted, and rightly so because it describes the best experience a human being can ever have. It is extraordinary to claim that we can taste the eternal Lord and live to tell the tale: He is good. But what gave me comfort and purpose was the second part: the happiness and blessedness of finding the Lord to be my refuge. He is good and He is a garrison and protection to any and everything life can throw at us. It reminded me of Paul´s statement where God stands guard over our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7) That word can also be translated as God Himself being a “garrison”, like a military post that can never be broken into. This is safety indeed; hence our God is our refuge.
As a church we begin this new season with a challenge to have total confidence in our Lord. Hence, we started a new series dealing with several aspects that threaten that confidence. We called it An Outstanding Assignment. Pray for receptive hearts who will rejoice in trusting God even in the darkest moments of their lives. We all know too well that ultimately the Lord is sovereign and He will deal with each one of our burdens and bring His purposes to pass. Pray for the preparation and delivery of that Word, and for us to give the priority to present Christ in all His greatness.
Remember the Church leadership and all the responsibility in teaching and preaching. Pray for our families and offspring that God will give us wisdom to care in a special manner for them. As Paul reminds us very clearly, our home is our first congregation, to care for them in a special way. But also, we receive the benefits of being cared by them too. We all need each other. Give thanks for strong spiritual homes.
We are also preparing special Bible studies which will begin in October, very similar to the Bible & Coffee we had before the summer. This time we shall be teaching the “Great Doctrines from Scripture”. Again, we are encouraging the church to build up their faith and be instructed in the great truths found in the word of God. Pray for the Lord to inspire us and give us clarity in teaching. Andrés, Javier and I are doing this teaching.
The second phase of food distribution for 2018-2019 has started already. We just presented the new list of families who will benefit from this work, but the food will actually be distributed, probably, in late October. It is a long wait for families with very poor resources, but this is how it works. Pray for all the logistics and preparation, and specially for these families. Some of them are attending our services, pray for a break- through in their spiritual lives. A couple of children from these families came to our summer camp. We give thanks for this opportunity and trust the Lord will do a lasting work in these young lives. I would like to ask again for the work done in interviewing these families. Pray for Bonnie (Social worker) and myself as we interview these families. Continue to pray for the overall work of our NGO Asociación Ekklesia Solidaria.
We are preparing 10 people for baptism this month, probably on 20th September. Javier and I are doing some teaching and groundwork to check up on their spiritual state. Pray for these new believers including one family: father, mother and three daughters. It is always good to rest on the Lord’s work in people’s lives. Remember them in their new commitment and that they may grow in God’s grace.
Continue to pray for the work of Editorial Peregrino. In October 26th & 27th we are holding again our new conference called “Passion for the Gospel”. Peregrino together with 9Marks share in the responsibility of organizing the event. Pray for a great success and for travelling mercies as the conference will be held in Madrid. Over the last two years this event has been really successful for Peregrino in selling large quantities of books. Give thanks for this great opportunity to produce good Biblical literature and its influence in Spain and beyond. Pray also for the financial wellbeing of Peregrino. During the summer people are slow in settling their bills. Continue to pray for Matt Hill and the rest of the workers at Peregrino.
We give thanks for your faithfulness in praying for us as a family. Joel and Elis will begin their final years in their studies. Pray for the Lord’s blessing in their lives. Again, Helen is sitting further exams in October. Pray for the Lord’s keeping. Last week, the boys and I had a day out in Calpe; here is a lovely picture of that occasion.
Thanks for being there.