I write to you from Marin, Spain, For seven weeks now we find ourselves in a totally new setting because of a small microscopic virus. All our plans and projects have been put aside or radically changed. However, we know that our Heavenly Father does everything well, and His sovereign purposes are always accomplished.
Spain is currently the country with the highest death rate per citizen because of the Coronavirus pandemic. Many acquaintances and friends have been infected and some have passed away. The above photograph shows me walking behind the casket during the funeral of a dear sister from our congregation who lived at a residence for the elderly. Only three people were allowed to attend the service. Yet her unbelieving family members have been greatly impacted by our commitment to help them during this time.
As in many other countries, we are also facing a dramatic increase in unemployment. Just a few days ago, a dear pastor was telling me about how 95% of his church members had recently lost their jobs. In the midst of such uncertainty, we must hold on to God’s promises. We must depend upon Him as we pray for many to fix their eyes on Christ in repentance and faith.
Free circulation has been forbidden for most people. Therefore, in obedience to the authorities, we have canceled all of our public gatherings. However, these limitations have also opened opportunities to proclaim the Word of God in a different way. Every Sunday we upload a pre-recorded “service” that includes a sermon and some hymns. We have also launched a midweek online prayer meeting.
A few weeks ago, I also began a podcast to provide a biblical perspective through the events we are witnessing. I’m thankful for those who have contributed, including brother Paul Washer. It has turned out to be a great opportunity for the Gospel. The programs are reaching thousands of listeners who have never attended an evangelical church. May the Lord use this time of trial to enlighten the hearts of those who are dead in their trespasses and sins. If anyone would like to view our podcast, just click on the following link: www.lascosasdearriba.org
The cancellation of all “non-essential” activities has also affected the classes at Berea Seminary. Yet, by God’s Grace, a few days ago we were able to hold a class through a Zoom videoconference. I taught an entire seven-hour course on Biblical anthropology this past Saturday! In spite of not being together in the same “classroom,” we praise the Lord for the technology that allows us to finish the current school year. I have also had the opportunity to preach in other online “services” from fellow churches. We pray that in the midst of this confinement the Lord might reveal to people the urgent need we have to live at the feet of Christ.
We have also had to postpone our weekly trips to the Bible center in the town of Lalín. May the Lord bring salvation to those who heard the Gospel in the past months before the outbreak!
After 45 days at home, we were allowed to take the kids to the street for just one hour. Praise the Lord they are content and having a good time with the new “camp-style” daily routines. It has turned out to be a beautiful opportunity to instruct them in the fear of the Lord and to enjoy more family time. My wife Olga has been a tremendous help for all of us during the past 7 weeks, and I am particularly thankful for her life.
Before I close, I would like to share a special prayer request: My father has been recently diagnosed with cancer and must go through surgery soon. Pray that the doctors do not delay too long due to the current health crisis.
Thank you so much for your prayers and support in so many different ways. You are such a blessing and encouragement for our lives and ministry!