Valencia March-April 2019

 

Dear Friends,

 

March belongs to the Fallas Fiestas. Here in Valencia from 1st-19th March the city becomes literally “the centre of the universe”, so they say. The usual 950,000 inhabitants of Valencia make room for some 2 million people visiting in the crucial days 15th-19th.

It is nearly impossible to walk around, and using a car it is just torturing yourself. Every day at 2:00pm a Mascletà is fired up at the Town Hall Square. If you want to hear it, here is the official web page: http://fallas.com/index.php/es/ This cultural event is very important to the city, hence in every suburb there is a Casal, the house of the Falleros where they will celebrate its Fiestas. There are probably 750 Casales distributed in the whole of Valencia; just in my street where I live, there are 4 Casales within 200 m. The heart of this cultural event is religious as on the final day thousands of people march to lay flowers to the Virgin of the city of Valencia (called Desamparados), the virgin which helps those without hope. My point in sharing this information is to affirm that the city is sold out to false hopes and it makes our work ever so relevant; hence we ask you to pray for wisdom and clarity as we present the Gospel – the real Gospel of grace which transforms lives for the glory of God.

 

Over the last few years the debate of the definition of “Family” has been a battleground for challenging the Biblical notion. We defend marriage, a creational ordinance, between a man and a woman, but surely, as it is happening here in Spain, it is also taking place in western Europe. Marriage between same sex people was legalized in Spain nearly 14 years ago, (in the UK 5 years ago). We in La Parroquia believe that our efforts should be in teaching the truth revealed in Scripture. We have organized a two day conference to teach this vital truth. Please remember to pray for this event, and for its long lasting effect. We pray for strong marriages with men in particular taking on their responsibilities in leading and being the key figures at home. Real manhood is to be like Christ.

Give thanks for the opportunity granted to preach at the Catholic Seminary in Valencia in January. It was a unique occasion to speak on the Lord´s righteousness and our need to receive it by faith. Continue to pray for me to have wisdom and to take advantage of the Lord’s openings. 

We are expecting any time to start distributing the food parcels to nearly 180 families. As yet, we do not have a final date but most likely it will take place at the end of March or at the beginning of April. We have reached a point of limiting the list to 200 families. As the Asociación Ekklesia Solidaria is unable to extend the help to more families, please pray for discernment to include the people who have real needs. Every week we are having people coming to ask for help and we have to turn them away. Please, also pray for dedicated volunteers, for an effective distribution and that our testimony will be Christlike. Again, pray for protection.

We continue to wait for the Police authorities to finally give the accreditation to enter the Internment Centre for Foreigners. This has been a long wait, but we trust the doors will finally open at the right time.

The final outcome of Brexit is unknown, but we continue to trust in the Lord. Spain and UK have reached a bilateral agreement which seems to guarantee our status as legal residents. The UK ambassador to Spain held an information meeting here in Valencia at the end of February which clarified certain issues. The subject is a bit disheartening. Pray for our protection. Here in Spain, we are having General Elections on 28th April. Also the news about Venezuela is often so negative; pray for peace.

Remember Salvador, a member in our church who is undergoing chemotherapy; his disease is far advanced; pray for peace in his heart.

As a family we are grateful for the Lord’s faithfulness. Elis just began his practice to finish his studies. It will be an interesting two months, pray for safety. Joel too, will finish in June, pray for his future. Helen has done her homework regarding accreditation of her Midwifery Degree, and she is waiting for the final outcome. I had an average result last January in my medical health check-up, so I need to improve in my walking and exercise. Thank you for remembering this long standing battle.

Thanks for being there.

 

Eddy