“I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal, but the word of God is not imprisoned.” — II Timothy 2:9
“But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel.” — Philippians 1:12
The above verses from the Apostle Paul came to mind as I read the following update from our beloved brother, Jairo Chaur in Barcelona, Spain. As you know, Spain is one of the countries that has suffered most from the Coronavirus. As a result, the great majority of the population has been quarantined for more than a month. However, although church gatherings and open-air evangelism are restricted, the gospel of Jesus Christ continues to advance and the church of Jesus Christ remains under His gracious and sovereign care. Please pray for Jairo, his fellow ministers, and the church in Barcelona. Pray that the gospel will continue on course into the hearts and minds of many. —Brother Paul Washer
Update from Jairo Chaur:
“But look, the Lord keeps his eye on those who fear him —those who depend on his faithful love to rescue them from death and to keep them alive in famine. We wait for the Lord; he is our help and shield. For our hearts rejoice in him because we trust in his holy name. May your faithful love rest on us, Lord, for we put our hope in you.” —Psalms 33:18-22
This biblical text is very comforting and encouraging for the Lord’s Church in this time of affliction and trial. Our God does not take His eyes off those who fear Him with reverence and admiration and hope in His mercy. He is our shield, and therefore, even in the midst of affliction, our hearts rejoice because we have someone who is worthy of our trust.
The Spanish government decreed quarantine from March 15. From that day, we cannot continue with our regular meetings. As a result, we now have our Bible study and prayer meetings using video conferencing software. On Sundays, we broadcast the service through YouTube.
We are convinced that these are NOT the ideal means because the Lord teaches us in His Word to gather together in order to worship in community and to encourage each other in the faith. Nevertheless, in today’s circumstances, technology is being used as a blessing from God. Through the internet, our brothers and sisters in faraway mission points are also receiving the preaching and teaching of the Word of God.
We have seen an unexpected blessing in all this. Because our internet meetings are in the homes, many unbelieving spouses and children are listening to Bible teaching for the first time. In this, we rejoice. The Lord and His word are not in quarantine! He continues to work in His church and to call unbelievers to repentance and faith.
Since the last update, there have been two opportunities that have greatly encouraged me. The first is the case of a sister who was caring for an elderly man who was on the verge of death. She asked the ministers of our church how to share the gospel with him. We explained the gospel to her and two days later she told us that she had shared the entire message with him. She was so excited because, with weeping, he understood his need for repentance and looking to Christ by faith. A week later he passed away.
The other opportunity has to do with another sister in our sister whose youngest son suffers from daily epileptic attacks. She recently came to know the Lord and was baptized, but her husband has always been very contrary to the gospel. Nevertheless, because of his wife’s good testimony, he is now listening to the sermons and Bible studies, and the Lord is working in his heart. Just recently, he told his wife that he wishes to be baptized.
In all this long time of quarantine, we are asking the church to take this opportunity to reflect on the state of our hearts—on the priorities and motivations of our life and on our relationship with the Lord. We are seeing that the Lord is working in us in the most important aspects of the Christian life: mutual love, meditation on the Word, and prayer for one another. We seem to be growing in the following:
- Our understanding and appreciation for the local church. The biblical text: “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony! (Psalm 133:1) has more real meaning now for us. We see that the members of the church long to come back together and praise the Lord. We also see that there is a real joy when we can share our difficulties and pray for one another to the Lord.
- Our understanding of the great importance of the Word of God for our sustenance and spiritual growth. In this time of isolation at home, the church is understanding that personal intimacy with the Lord through His Word is the key to a life of trusting in Christ.
- Our understanding of what Galatians 6:2 mean: “Carry one another’s burdens; in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ” This is because there are afflicted brothers among us. There are brothers who cry and suffer. Pastor David Barceló’s mother-in-law is very sick in the hospital. His wife Elisabet is also very ill at home. We also have several other cases. The church is praying incessantly for them, encouraging them through messages, and offering support in their needs.
I thank the Lord that in the midst of this trial, He remains faithful to His promises, and our hope is not in vain.
I ask the Lord in my prayers for each of our brothers and sisters who support our church and ministry through their donations to HeartCry. May the Lord multiply His resources for your needs at this time.