Approaching the end of the year it is inevitable to ponder on what has happened, and what is really important in the work we are doing. The striking response from the Word is unfailing: our work is to present the Gospel in the person of Jesus Christ, and we do so as an organic group of people with a clear identity as sons and daughters of God. But the world in which we live cannot be better summarized than how Amos does it : “For I know how manifold are your transgressions and how mighty are your sins…” (Amos 5:12). Evil is ever present and the righteous are persecuted, and the poor are rejected at the gate. Sin is not a concept; it is real and it does control people and sadly its corruption reaches all levels of society. Politics and nations are immersed in turmoil due to selfishness and arrogance, and the only response to this chaos is the Gospel of Lord Jesus Christ.
La Parroquia is now holding “Grups” (group in Valencià) each Friday. It is a follow up from the preaching series “Real” taken from 1 John which is being preached on Sundays. It is a time for fellowship, prayer and sharing. Remember this effort in prayer, it is more than just hearing; it involves opening up the hearts of people coming to church for the first time. It is wholesome to hear how the Lord is working in the hearts of people. It helps us to connect and become a genuine community. Also, from the suburb, we are seeing new faces, mainly unconverted people, families wanting to be with us, wanting to worship. The challenge for us as La Parroquia is to show our neighbours that we care for them, that our community is marked by love. There is joy in our midst.
On November 18th-19th the Asociación Ekklesia Solidaria will be distributing 15.4 tons of food. The logistic work is done over several weeks as we take time to contact each family to make sure they come to collect their food. As I have mentioned before, during this time we find out about their circumstances which gives us an opportunity to do our pastoral work. We give thanks for all the volunteers involved in this work. On Monday 18th the food will arrive at the Church, and on Tuesday 19th the distribution takes place. Pray for safety and for joy as we do this work. The Red Cross is concerned that the number of families requesting help has increased considerably. We have stopped taking in new families which means saying No to people in need. This is not an easy thing to do, and we pray for wisdom and an effective strategy to help these families out.
On 29th December we have invited Felipe Rocha to share regarding the work he is doing in Nepal. We are looking forward very much to hearing how God is working in rural areas of Nepal. Pray for the Lord’s blessing on Felipe and his ministry. Felipe and Loani are original from Brazil and Mahima is their adoptive daughter from Nepal. Since March 2018 they have been working with United Mission to Nepal. This work began in 1954 reaching out with the Gospel and fighting poverty. Over the years the work is being carried out by Nepalese pastors, and of the many who are currently serving there, we will mention Pastor Bijay. Briefly his story: “In the culture here, the eldest son stays with his parents even after marriage to care for them in old age. Pastor Bijay was already married when he was converted and when communicating to his parents had his first religious persecution. His father put the gun to his forehead and told him to deny Christ or he would kill him. Pastor Bijay, convinced of his faith, said that he would then die, but would not deny his Lord. He was beaten, humiliated with spit on his face and expelled from home.” Pray for this work as we begin to support them in prayer. I felt you would identify as a Missionary sending church (Heath Church), so the desire to share it with you.
Continue to pray for Enomamien whose husband is in prison; it has been a long saga. She is looking after their three children without being able to work. Pray for peace in her heart. Pray for the Lord’s mercies to be extended to them as a family.
As a family we are grateful for the Lord’s keeping and provision. Joel is looking for guidance for his immediate future. Elis has started his training in a special academy for fire fighters. This will be a long process involving very close selection regarding knowledge and physical tests. Pray for perseverance.
Please continue to pray for our friend and brother in Christ, Salvador.
Thanks for being there.