Monday, October 29, 2007

October 23-29

On Saturday we helped Lorenzo and Ana Maria with their move. They are renting a flat about a 5 minutes' walk from our house. The flat is very nice and has good size rooms. The place they were living in Alicante had a very small living room/dining room. It was impossible to do Bible studies there, but this place can comfortably accommodate more people. I trust that some day we will be able to have a Bible study at their house. It was also a busy weekend because Maria Eugenia had to go to Torrevieja to be with her daughter who will be operated on. She left Sergio with us for a few days. The Lord is working here to put together the beginnings of a congregation. We are excited to see how the Lord will continue to build on this core.
On Sunday I preached another message in my series of Christ's "I am" teachings. This Sunday we began to look at Christ as the Shepherd. To set the background, we looked at Psalm 23. There we find that Jehovah God is our shepherd because he supplies our needs, leads us and protects us. These points of comparison are important then in the way Jesus uses the image of the shepherd. We had good attendance because besides our normal group we had the Abellan family visiting with us from Elche. It was a wonderful weekend spent with God's people.

October 16-22

One of the big highlights this week was the renewal of vows by a couple in Alicante who celebrated 45 years of marriage. They asked if we could organize a "wedding" for them to renew their vows before family and friends. It was a blessing from the beginning to see their desire to be a testimony to many of their unsaved friends, and there were many first time visitors at church on Saturday night for the ceremony. They asked me to preach the message, so I preached about marriage and presented the gospel. One unsaved man commented that he was interested in reading more of the Bible. It was a beautiful evening to celebrate with this couple.
We had a good service this week. We had two families from Alicante come up to encourage us this weekend. I preached another sermon in my series about Christ's "I am" teachings. This week I spoke about the fact that Christ is the gate to the sheepfold. We have been practicing every Sunday for a Christmas cantata that we will be singing in along with the Elche and Alicante churches. I was especially happy that this week Maria Eugenia asked if she could sing as well. It is great that she is getting involved!

Monday, October 15, 2007

October 9-15

We were able to spend some time passing out tracts this weekend. Some of the young people from Alicante came up and helped out as well. It was, however, one of the hardest evenings I have ever experienced. In the past, if people have not been open, they have at least not been closed and hostile. Many have been very friendly, but that is not what we experienced the other night! I thought it was just where I was, but when we got back to the house, everyone seemed a bit rattled. But we were able to give the gospel to a few, and we continue to pray for the Lord to work in hearts. Sergio and I had our Bible study this week. David sat in on it too. I am pleased with Sergio's attitude in the studies. He seems to be learning. He claims to be saved, but I know that he has not had a lot of teaching. Lorenzo and Ana Maria put down a deposit for an apartment here. They will be moving in two weeks. It is wonderful to see how God continues to open doors for them.

Our service yesterday morning went very well. I preached my second sermon in the "I am" series. I spoke from John 9 about Christ as the light of the world. He illumines us (John 1.9) and then sends us out into the world to be light! After the sermon we had a short discussion time which went well. And there was a good spirit of participation as well.

Monday, October 08, 2007

October 1-8

This week I continued my Bible study with Sergio. Lorenzo and Ana Maria came up on Friday evening again and spent hours walking around town looking for an apartment to rent. At the end of the morning on Saturday, they finally found a place they liked that fits into their budget! Everything seems to be set for them to make the move at the end of the month. Saturday was a busy day for us. I caught the early bus down to Elche for a mens' prayer breakfast, and Maribel took the kids to Alicante for the children's club (after David's first soccer game!). In the afternoon we were able to have some nice family time together with Lorenzo's family as well.

Yesterday I began a new series of sermons. I will be preaching through the 7 "I am" statements in John's gospel. In the morning I preached about Christ as the Way, the only, true path to life. In the evening we went down to Elche for choir practice and the service. There I preached about John 8 when Jesus told the pharisees, "before Abraham was, I am." I made a strong emphasis on the gospel, as well as applying the passage to believers. After the service I found out that one of the ladies had brought a visitor who just left the Jehovah's witnesses. It was his first time in church! I know that God obviously worked to put that passage on my heart for that special occasion!

David's soccer game on Saturday morning was his first game with the team. He was thrilled with the game, but especially happy because he was able to score a goal!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Bible Institute meal

Bible Institute meal
Originally uploaded by David_B_Bell
These are the students from Bible Institute who came to our house for a meal to kick off the new year of classes.

9 years in Spain!

Originally uploaded by David_B_Bell
This is my family on the day, nine years ago when we moved to Spain. I feel a bit like Jacob. We came almost empty handed and the Lord has blessed us in so many ways that it is impossible to number them all.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

September 24-30

This past week I began a Bible study with Sergio, the 12 year-old son of Maríá Eugenia. I was not too sure if he was very excited about the study, but his mother mentioned that he made some positive comments about the study to her! I want to take advantage of this situation, and work with him as much as we can. He has been coming over to our house several times a week to play with the kids.

This weekend was an exciting time for our little body of believers. Lorenzo and Ana María have been praying about moving here. Lorenzo made a few phone calls several weeks ago, but it seemed that nobody needed workers. Then, last week he got a call from a different business. They told him that they had heard a lot of good things about him and wanted him to come for an interview. At first he wondered if we had given someone his phone number, but it was obviously the Lord's doing! He went for the interview on Saturday morning, and it looks like he will start work here just as soon as he can bring his family up. They are hoping that by the end of the month of October they can be living up here. It is such a blessing to see their faith and how God is working out one detail after another.

On Sunday morning I finished up my series on Ecclesiastes. The sermon was a general overview of the book and all of the lessons we have been learning throughout this series. Unfortunately, Maria Eugenia was not able to be there, but we were able to go and spend several hours with her in her home on Sunday afternoon. We had a good time of prayer with her. Her situation with her husband continues to be difficult, but she is trusting in the Lord to bring her through.