With my parents here and all of the special activities, I got away from writing my Monday reports. So once again I find myself trying to catch up! We had a great visit with my parents and enjoyed our time together as a family. We also had a good end to the year. The Sunday before Christmas we had a very special day with a church lunch after the morning service. We had good attendance and then we followed it up with a mid-afternoon service. Different members read portions from the Christmas story in Luke and we sung appropriate hymns between readings. It was a very nice time to spend together as a church family. Last Sunday, my father was asked to preach in Elche for the morning service, so we all went and I translated for him. In the evening we finished out our year with a celebration of the Lord's supper. It was a very special celebration for me because it was my last official service as pastor here in Alicante. I have communicated to the church my desire to withdraw from Alicante so that I can focus my efforts on starting a new work in Petrer, about 30 minutes away from Alicante. As we celebrated the Lord's new covenant through the symbolism of that special meal, we recalled all of His blessings to us and the ways in which we all desired to be more faithful in the coming year. It was a beautiful way to finish out a year.
For our prayer services this month I have been speaking on the prayers/psalms that we find in the first chapters of Luke. It has been a blessing to study Zechariah's, Mary's and Simeon's prayers to see what Christ's birth meant to them. I have also been continuing on with our Bible studies with Lorenzo and Ana María. We are constantly encouraged by their desire to learn and do what is right. They have even expressed the desire to move with us to Petrer to help out with the new ministry. We are praying that the Lord would do His will in giving us the people that He wants us to have.