New members and visitors 

The past several months here in Spain have seen some interesting developments. In early January, we received into the membership of our church a dear believer from Columbia, whose husband was baptized and received into the membership of the church several months earlier. My co-elder, Juan Pablo Gonzalez, who has known them for some time, is planning to lead a discipleship study with them in their home, since they are neighbors of his and have exhibited a keen interest in growing in their faith.

In recent months, several newcomers have begun to attend our services regularly. There is an older couple from Málaga who have been attending services regularly at the church now for six months. The other day, they told me that they would like to meet with me and the other elders in the near future to discuss membership in the church. Pray the Lord will give us wisdom as we interview this couple with a view to the possibility of their joining the membership of the church. Also, two young women from Chile, Valentina and Noemí, have begun attending services regularly at the church. They are both studying philosophy at the University of Málaga and come from the same church background in Chile. They seem very happy with the church and are starting to attend regularly.

Conferences and Retreats

At the end of January, our church in Málaga collaborated with two other churches in the southern part of Spain to host the first ever “South of Andalucía” Gospel Conference, which was held in three cities– Málaga, Chiclana de la Frontera, and Algeciras– over a three day period from January 22 to the 24th. The guest speaker at the conference, José Olivares, shepherds a congregation in New York City, the “Followers of Jesus” Bible Tabernacle. He also serves as the dean of a Bible school that offers theological education by extension to students in various countries, including the U.S., Mexico, El Salvador, Spain and Italy. It was a joy and a privilege to spend time with brother José during the days he was here and to participate with him in a panel discussion on the closing night of the conference. I was also honored when José invited me to preach in his church when we are in New York City in June. The church is a Spanish-speaking congregation located in the community of Deer Park on Long Island in New York. José has also offered to take Paola, Melody and myself on a one day guided tour of downtown Manhattan the day after we arrive in the United States.

Not long ago, I was greatly blessed to attend a two day retreat for pastors throughout Andalucía who share the same commitment to the full inspiration, innerancy and authority of the Bible, expository preaching, and the “solas” of the Reformation. It was a great encouragement to be with a group of forty men who were all united in heart and mind with the same longings for their personal lives, families, churches, and the people of Spain. The presence of the Lord was felt powerfully by all who were there. It was a truly edifying time, with much time dedicated to sharing our hearts´ burdens with one another, confessing our needs, praying fervently for one another, and worshipping the Lord with one heart, mind and soul.

New Teaching Opportunity

One interesting outcome of that retreat concerns the possibility of my involvement in the theological training of younger men who are being called by God to devote their lives to the ministry of the gospel in Spain. The director of a theological school in the city of Granada contacted me after the retreat and spoke with me at length about the possibility of my serving in a new branch of the school that will soon be inaugurated, Lord willing, in the city of Jerez– down the coast from Málaga. The idea would be to serve in a teaching capacity as a tutor and mentor to the young men who are studying there as my schedule permits. I am very excited at the prospect of becoming more involved in the theological training of pastors for the gospel ministry and will begin to take a closer look at coordinating this with my pastoral work in Málaga after returning from the United States.

Church Ministry, Hosting, Studying

During the past few months, I have continued to preach on the book of Daniel on Sunday mornings and teach on various biblical doctrines on Thursday evenings. Juan Pablo continues to preach once a month on Sunday mornings– he is doing an excellent job preaching from the gospel of Mark– and Rafa also ministers from time to time in the church, though the bulk of his time is dedicated now to completing a degree in electronics from the university of Málaga.

I continue to receive periodic invitations to preach at other churches, both in Málaga and elsewhere. Recently, I preached at the Bethel church in Málaga on the subject of the dying thief on the cross, and the message was well received. Before leaving for the U. S. in June, I have been invited to preach once again in the cities of Almuñecar and Chiclana.