Dear brethren in Christ,
Thank you for your continuing prayers for us and for the ministry in Spain. This has been a very interesting week, in which I have made new contacts that I would like to share with you:
Santiago and Adela
Last week, I was contacted by the cousin of a gypsy friend of mine who lives in Málaga. The cousin asked me if I would be willing to visit and counsel his nephew and his nephew´s wife, a young couple named Santiago and Adela. They recently discovered that their five year old daughter, Daniela, has a brain lesion located in the region of the brain controlling motor functions, and the lesion is causing her problems of coordination (she walks with a limp and frequently drops objects in her left hand, since she cannot hold them tightly). The doctors in Málaga told Santiago and Adela that, unless their daughter undergoes surgery to remove the lesion, it could grow in size as she develops, making her symptoms worse, even to the point of losing all function in her left hand. The parents are very distressed at the prospect of their daughter undergoing brain surgery, but the surgeon who would perform the operation is one of the best neurosurgeons in all of Spain.
Monday night, I visited the couple in their home, and the visit provided a wonderful opportunity to speak to them about their need of Christ, s well as to pray for them and their daughter and to consider with them the various issues surrounding their daughter´s need for surgery. I was able to explain from the Scriptures how God gives guidance for difficult decisions and how he often uses distressing circumstances to show us the uncertain character of our life in this world and our need for Him as the only Rock of refuge to whom we can flee. Please pray that the Lord will work in their lives, not only giving them guidance regarding their daughter, but showing them their need of Christ.
Raúl of Benalmádena
On Wednesday, I made another new contact in the town of Benalmádena, which is just a quarter hour from where we live. A friend of mine named Sergio Gil put me in a contact with his friend Raúl who lives in Benalmádena. On Wednesday morning, Raúl and I met at a small café to get to know each other over coffee. Raúl is from a Roman Catholic background and attends mass regularly. However, he has a number of spiritual questions in his mind that are still unresolved. When I asked him what sort of questions he has, he expressed a desire to understand the basic difference between Protestant and Roman Catholic beliefs. This gave me an opportunity to talk to him about the biblical gospel and our need as sinners of Christ´s imputed righteousness, since none of us can obtain by our works the perfect righteousness we need to dwell in the presence of God. I sensed in Raúl a certain uneasiness with what I told him, for he responded by telling me that he does not see himself as a “bad person,” since he is trying to live a decent life. Nevertheless, he did ask me when our church services are and indicated that he may visit on a Sunday. Our meeting ended amicably, and the door is open for future visits with him.
Santiago of La Virreina
At our Thursday night Bible study, we had two visitors—a gypsy friend (the same friend mentioned above) showed up with a friend of his named Santiago (Not the same Santiago mentioned above). This Santiago happens to live right across the street from our church, which is located in a neighborhood called La Virreina. The two visitors—like most gypsies in Spain—are from a Pentecostal background. Nevertheless, they enjoyed our study on the Lord’s Prayer and participated in the dialogue that ensued. Santiago indicated that he would return the following Thursday.
The Benavides Family
Yesterday, I made a trip to the town of La Fábrica (an hour and a half from Málaga) to visit the Benavides family, whom I have mentioned in previous prayer letters. This is a family started attending services at the church in Málaga two years ago, but in recent months, their attendance has been hindered because of transportation problems and economic difficulties. The car on which they relied to make the ninety-minute journey to Málaga on Sundays broke down, and because of its age, they are only using it now to make short trips in the immediate vicinity of their home. Besides the car problems, this family has also experienced some very serious financial setbacks. The father suffered an injury on the job that made it impossible for him to continue the work he had been doing in a factory. This has produced a radical lowering of their income level; and since the father receives only a very small pension from the state, this makes travel to Málaga very difficult. Add to this the burden of ongoing medical costs (their oldest daughter, who had an embolism in her lung a year ago, needs to take a preventive drug that is quite expensive and not covered by the state health care system), and you have a recipe for very stressful economic circumstances and a sense of geographical isolation.
During my visit, I was able to pray with the Benavides family and talk with them about future visits that I would like to make. As a church, we are looking at adopting La Fábrica as a “point of mission.” This would involve my traveling there once or twice a month (at this point) for a Bible study/worship service in their home. Our church is also looking for ways to help the Benavides family on a material, as well as a spirtual level. Please remember them in your prayers.
Women´s Conference in Córdoba
This morning, I find myself alone at home, since my wife Paola and daughter Melody left yesterday to attend a women´s conference in the city of Córdoba. It is attended by four hundred women from all over Spain and even by a few women from France. Paola told me that the teaching was very good and a blessing to all the women who were there. I am thankful that my daughter Melody has been able to attend this conference with her mother. Please pray that God´s Word will take root in her heart and bear fruit.
I look forward to writing you again soon. May the Lord bless each of you in your walk with Him.