Greetings from Barcelona, Spain,
In the last two months I began to teach and preach in assemblies and to disciple some brothers in the church here in Barcelona. I also visit three of the six mission points which our church (Iglesia Evangelica de Gracia) is helping. The IEG church is committed to supporting and helping the churches around Barcelona and throughout Spain. This project is called “Project Macedonia,” and it consists of sending a teacher from our church to encourage, exhort and correct groups of believers who do not have a biblical church in their area.
I am also beginning a work of discipleship with some of the young men (16 years old and above) in the church. I meet every week with some of them and twice a month with others. Right now, our discipleship consists in getting to know one another, giving our testimonies of how the Lord has saved us, and sharing how we are growing in grace and the knowledge of the Lord’s love and power. We are also studying the basic doctrines of the Christian life and answering questions about work, ministry, and even “girlfriends”!
I am also dedicating time to helping brothers who long for the ministry of preaching. After studying and preparing my sermon for Sunday in the church or for a preaching mission, I call these brothers to talk about the text, and I ask them to study the text in their homes. Then, we meet on Friday or on Saturday before I preach and I listen to their commentaries and applications of the text. In a way, they help me in the preparation of the sermon and I help them to study a biblical text. I am also working with a group of men who are already preaching in our church or other churches in the area. We meet one day a week to study together the text that they have already studied alone. Then we share the truths that are revealed in the text and how we should apply them to the different areas of the church.
I am very encouraged with the youth group at IEG. They are beginning to grow in a very fast way because they are studying the Scriptures and applying it to their lives. The group already has more than forty young people who meet every Friday to study the Gospel of Mark. I have also started to read the book “The Pilgrim’s Progress” fifteen minutes before the Bible study begins. It has helped generate conversations and encouraged the young people to study the Word of God even more. I ask you to pray for this youth group because it is filled with very precious young people. They are eager to learn and live the gospel and take their crosses and follow Jesus. However, they have a great need for greater knowledge in the Word and for genuine Christian friendships that might lead them to Christ and to a life of devotion to God. Pray that they will have the strength to fight against the sins that beset them. Many of them are in universities or in jobs that promote immorality and promiscuity. Others do not have Christian parents or have parents that are living a superficial Christianity. Pray that the Lord might give wisdom to my wife and me so that together with the pastors and the leaders of the youth, we can take care of them and help them to know God and His Son Jesus Christ.
This month, it was a great privilege to visit the three mission groups that IEG is helping in Valencia, Algeciras and Terraza. In each city there are a small group of Christians who are praying fervently and persevering in the Word of God. They are working and waiting as the Lord adds seekers and new believers to their assemblies. I always long to teach and preach the Word of God to them. I want to help them think more about God's will for their personal lives and to grow together as the body of Christ. I desire that the love and unity of the members might be a demonstration of God's power for this lost world. The church is the message of the gospel made visible to the world!
Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; He makes my feet like the deer’s; He makes me tread on my high places.” — Habakkuk 3:17–19