Dear Brethren in Christ,
These past few weeks have been very challenging as we have suffered the loss of several brethren from our church and others are going through various trials.
Five members of the congregation have passed away since the beginning of 2019. Some of them were old and had been battling with illness for a long time but others died unexpectantly. For instance, Paco was a beloved and very active member of our church. He was only 60 years old and very healthy, but was diagnosed with fast-spreading cancer, which in a matter of days left him prostrated and immobile in bed until he finally went to be with the Lord.
Despite the heartache of saying goodbye to faithful brethren, we are thankful for the opportunity it has given us to preach the Gospel. In our context, people who would never set foot in a church do find it fitting to do so at a funeral. In the last memorial service that we held, we had over 50 non-believers attending the ceremony. We were able to proclaim the Living, Glorious and Righteous Christ, before whom, all men will be held accountable. May the Lord prosper His Word among them.
Our family is also experiencing some health issues lately. My parents have been both hospitalized at the same time. Chelo, my mother, went through back surgery with some post operative complications. Meanwhile Julio, my dad, who is also a pastor in our church, has been battling with a thrombosis for almost three weeks, and is on strict bed-rest until he improves. We praise the Lord because, even in the midst of weakness, they have both shown an exemplary attitude of contentment in the Lord. Not being able to control our circumstances humbles us all and forces us to trust the One who has all things under His sovereign control. May the Lord be glorified in our frailties and may we seek Him with genuine longing.
In spite of all these trials, we keep on working in the several ministries in which we are involved.
Regarding our home church in Marin, I would like to highlight a new class that I am teaching which is called, “What Does the Bible Really Teach? The Fundamentals of Christian faith” The vast majority of the students (a total of 25) are not baptized, and some have no previous connection with the church whatsoever. Our prayer is that the Holy Spirit will open their understanding and enlighten their hearts with the light of the Gospel.
I keep travelling weekly to the town of Lalin. It is 50 miles away from our home in Marin, and there is no Christian presence at all. After several months with almost no opportunities I have finally been able to establish a connection with two people. I would appreciate your prayers for Elisa—a 70 years old woman who requested a New Testament. Please pray also for Iñaki—a local coffee shop manager with whom I have been able to have some interesting conversations. May the Lord bring mercy in this region darkened by paganism and worldly traditions.
Another bit off exciting news is that I taught a biblical exegesis course to 18 students who came from all over the country for an intense weekend of training at Berea Seminary in Leon. Pray for these students and their impact in their local congregations as they accurately teach the Word of God.
Finally, a few days ago, I was in the car with my wife and children, when our oldest daughter, Alejandra, asked us the following question: “If when people die, they never live again, how come Jesus died on a cross and is still alive today?” Olga and I smiled at each other with joy in our hearts and we praised the Lord for her concern. It was just the perfect opportunity to explain the gospel to her again. Our prayer is that in God’s power we might take advantage of every situation in our children’s lives to point them to Christ, and that in His mercy He might prosper that work and bring them to Salvation.
We are so grateful to the Lord for His care and for your participation in spreading the gospel. We desire to be faithful to the task that He has placed before us and we pray that His powerful hand will lead us to serve Him better.