Valencia November-December 2018
We are fast approaching the end of another year and often the thoughts hang on the fact that this is the time of being together with families. Unusually for us, it reminds us of our coming to Spain in December 1995, and it was the time when we left our families behind, it was the time of meeting new people and merging into a different culture. The Lord has been faithful over the last 23 years and it is right to remember it and give thanks to Him for such a blessing.
On the last weekend of October I attended the conference “Passion for the Gospel”. The theme was Passion for the Nations: the Gospel and Mission. This event was organized by Editorial Peregrino and 9Marks involving also some local churches which uphold the doctrines of grace. It was a rejuvenated experience taking me back to those early years of missionary work in Spain. There was one statement that stood out, which I want to share with you: “As the missionary is sent, he is not on his own, the whole church goes with him”. We can, with all our heart, reiterate that statement, you as a Church have come with us and stood with us in many circumstances; in times of joy and of sadness, in times where it was questioned whether we should continue in the field, in times of finding the right place for serving the Lord. Thanks. All the praise to the Lord.
On the following week (30-31 October), we distributed nearly 15 tons of food to 163 families, and it was again, the work of the Church. This work is very rewarding, it brings a connection which is real and effective in forging relationships. The contacts being made are significant and we pray that as many of them have started attending our services that they will meet the Lord as Saviour. Over the last few months, we have seen a genuine interest of people in hearing the Gospel and this opens a door for sharing the message directly in an individual basis. Please pray for wisdom and to give a word in season where the Gospel is spoken with authority.
The Red Cross which operates as the intermediary between the Government and ourselves as an NGO has conducted some necessary checks by inspecting our methods of work and logistics in keeping and managing the data of all the families. Thankfully, we have been able to keep up with the high standards of Data Protection and preparing official social reports. We have professional volunteers that carry out this work. Give thanks to the Lord for such people and the team work which makes this effort to care for our neighbours. Caring for the other is a genuine gesture of the love of God. Pray for protection of the work.
The challenges of illegal immigration open a new door of service for the Evangelical Church. There is an institution in Valencia called Internment Centre for Foreigners, in Spanish is Centro de Internamiento de Extranjeros (CIE). These centres are found in strategic cities throughout Spain; they have a bad reputation for the treatment they hand out to illegal immigrants. Normally it is the last port before they are expelled forcefully from the country. The government has a duty to care for them and several institutions cooperate to provide protection of human rights, education, health and other needs. A formal request has been made to the Council of Evangelical Churches in the Valencian Community to provide a Minister to care for the spiritual needs of these immigrants who profess the Christian Evangelical faith. I have been approached by the Council, and after much prayer and with the recommendation of La Parroquia I will begin attending this need at the CIE. Pray for all the accreditations needed to be obtained speedily and for all the training in preparation to work at the Centre. Pray for effective ministry and protection. It appears I will be the first Minister to enter into this area of work in Spain. We didn’t want to miss this opportunity to reach out to these dear people, in the light that these centres are being reviewed by the Government regarding their permanency. Thanks.
Allow me to make again the same request regarding the Church leadership. Pray for us in our 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”.
I will be preaching on 9th December as we start a new series. Pray for unction and a powerful delivery of the Gospel. Pray for clarity and again for protection.
On the last weekend of November, 23rd to 25th, the National Men’s Conference is taking place with the theme “Making History”. It will be the 25th anniversary and we are looking forward to a precious time of fellowship and teaching of God’s Word. As a church we have a strong contribution to make, we hope to be a good number of men able to attend and be blessed.
Thank you for remembering us as a family. Helen was helped greatly in the sets of professional exams which she sat in July & October. There is now a long wait for the Spanish process to come through and for the awarding of a secure job position. Continue to pray for this, thanks. Remember our families both in the UK and Venezuela. Give thanks for every token of God’s goodness towards us. Remember the boys, especially Elis out and about learning to drive.
Thanks for being there.