Monday, September 24, 2007

September 18-24

We are starting to fall into the schedule of the academic year which means that we are ready to start up another year of Bible Institute. On Friday we invited all the students from last year and those signed up for this year to our house for a party. It was a blessing to see some new students this year. I was especially pleased to be able to announce three students who have finished their second certificate of Bible studies. They have completed more than 350 hours of studies. This year Mike Dodgens will be teaching counseling, Dennis Flower will be teaching Church History, and then I will finish out the year with the second year of NT Introduction.

Yesterday we had a good service here in Petrer. Lorenzo and Ana Maria were up, and Maria Eugenia came. She didn't bring her son Sergio with her. I want to start having Bible studies with Sergio. He has just started high school here and could use some good encouragement. I preached another message in my series on Ecclesiastes. I preached from chapter 11 about giving liberally and industriousness. I made the application to our personal witness. We need to work hard at giving the gospel to all we can. We are looking forward to some new evangelistic efforts this month as a church, but I want individuals to feel the importance of witnessing too.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

September 10-17

The big activity of this week was my trip up to northern Spain to teach an intensive Bible institute on the book of Ezekiel. In the end, Maribel and the kids had to stay home, so I rode the bus up. The Lord gave me a good weekend as I shared the teaching from this special book with the believers there. I taught five sessions all day Saturday on the book. Many commented that they were looking forward to reading the book again, now that they understood it a little bit better. On Sunday I preached once again from Ezekiel in the church in Beasain, and then in the evening I caught the bus back home. The weekend was also very special because of the times of fellowship with the Bonikowskies and other missionaries there.

Here in Petrer, the service went very well, too. I invited Josué Cerdán from the church in Alicante to come up and preach. Lorenzo and Ana María were here, as well as Maria Eugenia and her son Sergio. But it turns out that my sister and brother-in-law came as well as Josué's parents and brother. In all, there almost 20 people at the service, by far the biggest attendance we have ever had!

On Friday when I called Maribel, she informed me that they had had a huge hail storm. When I got home, they showed me some of the balls of ice which they had stored in the freezer to show me. They were by far the largest hail stones I had ever seen. Unfortunately it did some damage to our gutters, as well as the car.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Originally uploaded by David_B_Bell
We invited the church in Alicante to some up to Petrer to participate in a special service of dedication for the work here.

baptismal service

Originally uploaded by David_B_Bell
Here is a picture from our baptismal service on Saturday night.

August 27-September 9

The last two weeks came to a climax on Sunday morning. Let me explain. Two weeks ago, after our Sunday morning service, Lorenzo talked to me again about baptism. He and Ana Maria had asked about the subject before, but at that moment I was not in any position to do more than take them through several passages to explain to them what Biblical baptism is all about. Now, however, with their ever increasing commitment to the work here in Petrer, I felt that it was the time for them to be baptised. We were able to coordinate it with an event that I had wanted to have for some time. We invited the entire church from Alicante to come up on Saturday night. Lorenzo and Ana Maria gave their testimonies, and then I had the privilege of baptising them before more than 35 people. Then we had a special service of dedication for the work here. Jose Bernabeu preached a message, and then Flay Allen led a time of prayer for God's blessing upon the work. On Sunday morning in our service, Lorenzo and Ana Maria participated in the Lord's supper for the first time (and our first time here in Petrer). Maria Eugenia was able to come with her son. Maribel's aunt and uncle (both unsaved) even visited us that morning and witnessed our communion service. We praise the Lord for these experiences. These are special days as we hold these intimate services with this tiny body of believers in whom the Lord is working.

Last week Mike Dodgens came up one evening, and we were able to spend some time out in a park witnessing. We continued our survey about the Bible, and once again the Lord opened doors for us to share the gospel very clearly. I was particularly excited about some of these very personal conversations now that we live here. In fact, the other day, Maribel noticed two older ladies who walked by our house, stopped, and pointed. I suspect that they were two ladies I spoke with in the park. I mentioned that we were meeting with believers in our house, and that seemed to catch their attention. In a culture where the church is so cold and formalistic, many seem surprised by something as natural as true believers meeting together in a house to worship the Lord together. We pray that God would continue to work in hearts and raise up true believers who worship Him in spirit and in truth.