After so long, it is hard to know where to start. My life was abruptly interrupted in March with the news of heart surgery. Just when I seemed to be over the worst of it, a new phase began that I had never imagined. It seems that I managed to catch a virus during the operation that threatened the new new valve. I went back into the hospital and wasn't able to come back home for almost two months. The Lord was very good to us in answering our prayer and in the end a second operation was not necessary, even though it seemed immanent. While in the hospital I was able to read a lot and do some thinking. I was also able to witness to quite a few people. It was even a profitable time to minster to church people. Many of the ones who came to visit me really opened up about problems.
When I finally did get out of the hospital, the group of students from BJU was here already and waiting for me. We had a good month of classes with them. I did some of the teaching along with Maribel, and I gave the majority of the daily challenges from the Bible. This year was special because we took a longer trip with the group up to Toledo and Madrid. We were able to spend Sunday in Madrid, and we all participated in the services. We sang as a group, and a good number of the students gave testimonies. It was a blessing to get to know these students, and many of them had a very strong impact on the Spanish families they stayed with.
Just two days after we finished classes with the students, the Musical Mission Team from BJU came to visit us. The highlight of the visit for us was a concert here in Petrer. This was the first public evangelistic activity we have had here. We have distributed tracts and done some witnessing on the streets, but this was our first opportunity to share the gospel to a group of people. The town hall allowed us to use a very nice auditorium (and even printed posters of the group) and there was a good turn out from the town (along with many believers from both Elche and Alicante). We are so thankful for the seed sown in people's lives through the music and testimonies. The group also participated in the services in both Elche and Alicante on Sunday and were a blessing to church people and visitors there as well.
The day the choir left, Maribel left for camp with David and Andrea. I ended up staying at home with Daniel. The Lord gave them a good week at camp and helped us out at home as we tried to survive on our own! The Sunday after camp was a very special one for us because we held our first service here in Petrer. We will be meeting in our house at the moment. Lorenzo and Ana Maria, the couple who is taking steps to move to this city to help us with the planting of this church, came up along with two other families from the church in Alicante. We had a very simple but nice service. We are excited to see how the Lord has been working to build His church. We have several contacts that we pray the Lord will touch, and we plan to continue our work with evangelism, trusting that the Lord will give us more fruit. Please pray for us as we labor here!
The months I was in the hospital were very hard on Maribel and the kids. I praise the Lord that He helped them through those months. Since I got out of the hospital, things have been kind of wild for all of us. The kids finished school, we taught the BJU students, we took 14 college students on a five day trip, we organized a concert for the BJU choir team, we moved from Alicante to Petrer and we held our first service! It has been a busy month, but one that has been full of blessing! Thank you so much for your prayers for us.