Monday, November 24, 2008

November 18-24

This was the second week of our Bible study on campus at the university. This week there were three young people at the study. We had a good time looking at Colossians and then a good time of questions and discussion afterwards. On Saturday night I played in a concert for our local band. After the concert we had a meal, and I was able to talk to several people about why we moved here. I trust the Lord will use this testimony to open other doors of ministry.

Yesterday we had a very full day. Our morning service went well. We had hoped to see Antonio and Gloria, but apparently she has not been feeling well at all after her last treatment. I preached on the seventh miracle in John, the resurrection of Lazarus. I focused particularly on three elements: the opposition to Christ's ministry, the love He felt towards Lazarus and his sisters, and the main focus of the miracle, faith. After the service we all went to the Soto's house for our monthly church meal. After a good meal and time of fellowship, we had our evening service. This was the last week of our series on doctrines. I talked about our doctrine of salvation, specifically the details about the atonement. After the service, Lorenzo and I went down to Elche to play in the service there. We repeated the special numbers that we prepared for Valencia last weekend.

Monday, November 17, 2008

November 11-17

Today was our appointment at the hospital in Valencia about David's heart condition they discovered earlier this year. After doing all of the tests on him, the doctor told us that his condition had not deteriorated any, so there was no immediate need for surgery. We thank the Lord for this answer to prayer.
This past week we had our first Bible study on campus. I finally was able to get permission to use a room, so I wrote all of the students from the Elche and Alicante churches. Unfortunately due to scheduling problems, only one boy made it for the study this week, but we were able to spend some time together talking about some details of the study and then give an introduction to the book of Colossians. Lord willing, we will have more present in the coming weeks. We also had a very special study at home. David invited one of his friends over to spend the night. He had already talked to him about the Lord, and since I had planned to do a study with Sergio that night anyway, David's friend sat in on the study. We studied John 3.16. It was a very simple study, but showed clearly the message of salvation. David's friend listened carefully to the study and asked good questions. He took a tract home with him and has since continued to ask David questions at school.
Yesterday it was Maribel's birthday, and we were were gone in Valencia all day. Here in Petrer Israel preached a message on Christ's calming of the storm. In Valencia our brass quartet (including Lorenzo, Isaac, a young man from Elche, and pastor Dennis Flower) played six special numbers. We introduced each hymn with a short biography or story about the hymn, and then after the music, I preached a sermon on praise from Psalm 19. The rest of the group went back home in the afternoon and our family stayed for the evening service. I preached again in the evening, this time from Isaiah on the mark of true faith. It was a blessing to be able to spend this time with the believers there.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

November 4-10

In our morning service this week we began early with the celebration of the Lord's table. Antonio and Gloria came early for the service and were present as we finished out time of communion. Gloria expressed interest in participating. We are thankful for this desire on her part, but need to take more time with them to disciple them. In the morning service Israel preached on Christ's healing of the man who was born blind. He did a good job with the application of the text and many commented that it was a blessing. In the evening we met at María Eugenia's house for our evening service. I did a special study for the children from Ephesians 6.1-3.

Monday, November 03, 2008

October 28-November 3

The weeks seem to fly by us as if we were standing still. I can
hardly believe that we are in November already. We have some very
special activities planned for this month with the church. This month
we will be going to Valencia to play our brass quartet there for a
special service. We met on Saturday for a practice and things are
coming along nicely. Yesterday we celebrated the Lord's table before
our morning service. It was a good time of spiritual fellowship as we
shared what the Lord is doing in our lives. We were especially
thankful that in the morning service we had a visitor. Antonio and
Gloria were also in the service yesterday. Each time they come they
feel more and more a part of the congregation. Yesterday I preached on
Christ's walking on the water. I was struck with the contrast of the
disciples' inability to cross the sea when suddenly they see Jesus
strolling across the water with no apparent difficulty. Many times we
are at the end of our strength and ability, but God can complete our
efforts and do the impossible. In the evening we met at Maria
Eugenia's house and I gave a study especially for the children on
Ephesians 6.1-2. After the study we had a good time of prayer together.

David & Maribel
"vide ministerium quod accepisti in Domino ut illud impleas" Col 4.17

Monday, October 27, 2008

October 21-27

The Lord blessed us this week with an excellent Sunday. It was a busy
week leading up to it. On Monday we received an unexpected visit from
some missionary friends of ours, and then on Tuesday we took our car
into the mechanic to have a small oil leak fixed. The situation with
the car made life a little more complicated, but the visit helped out
because they were able to give us a much needed ride! Yesterday
morning we were missing some of our regular people. Ana Maria is not
feeling too well with the new pregnancy so Lorenzo came by himself.
Also, Sergio spent the weekend in Torrevieja, so Maria Eugenia came by
herself. Israel preached on the feeding of the 5,000, and after the
sermon we had a very good time of testimonies and singing. Nearly
everyone present shared a thought about the message. After the service
we had a church meal together. And in the early afternoon we had our
Bible study service. Last week during our evening service I felt we
needed some more specific instruction about the nature of salvation
and the idea of losing one's salvation. So this week we spent over an
hour talking about the Biblical teaching concerning salvation. Once
again there was good participation by all. I praise the Lord for a
good day together with other believers, spent in worship and
fellowship together.

David & Maribel
"vide ministerium quod accepisti in Domino ut illud impleas" Col 4.17

Monday, October 20, 2008

October 14-20

This week the Lord gave us a few more opportunities to be a
testimony. I am taking a Valenciano class here in Elda, so I decided
to ask a fellow student for a ride home to get to know him a bit. It
turns out that he is studying English as well. We agreed to get
together some time so I can help him with his English. I trust that I
will be able to present Christ to him clearly as we get to know each
other. Also, Israel and I were able to spend some time in a park
giving out tracts and talking to people. As always there were a lot of
negative reactions, but there were a few who received the tracts well.
Please pray with us that God would give the increase. Saturday was a
very special blessing for us. Enoch Guitierrez, a Mexican pastor, gave
a series of lectures for pastors and workers. Israel and I went down
and spent the day there. I really needed the encouragement and
teaching he shared with us.

Yesterday I preached on Christ's third miracle in John, the healing
of the lame man at Bethesda. The Lord gave us a good service and
hearts were stirred. How often we lie crippled and helpless trying to
find some solution to our problems instead of taking them to the Lord
and receiving His divine healing. Emilio and Ester brought her niece
with them again this week. This is the second time she has been in our
services. We are not sure if she is really a believer. Antonio and
Gloria did not come this week because she was not feeling well after
her chemotherapy last week. In the evening we met with Israel, Maria
Eugenia and Sergio here at our house to continue our study of the
Adventists. We talked this week of Biblical doctrine of the final
judgment as opposed to the Adventist teaching concerning Christ's
investigative judgment.

David & Maribel
"vide ministerium quod accepisti in Domino ut illud impleas" Col 4.17

October 7-13

This past weekend I preached a missions conference at a church up in
Madrid. The Lord gave us a very good weekend and used the believers
there to encourage us. I preached five sermons around the theme of
missions, focusing on different aspects of Moses' preparation, calling
and service. I also gave my testimony on Sunday morning for the adult
Sunday school class. Here in Petrer, Israel preached on Sunday morning
about the second miracle in the book of John. Then in the evening they
met at Lorenzo and Ana Maria's house and watched a video about the
Seventh Day Adventists.

Last week Lorenzo came to see me one night. They have been under a lot
of pressure with his work and Maria's school situation. He told me
that they have decided to move back to Alicante. They still plan to
come up to Petrer for services, but obviously this changes many
aspects of our ministry to them. This is hard for us to take in many
ways, but we are trusting the Lord to do His work here in building
this church. We would appreciate your continued prayers for our
ministry here.

David & Maribel
"vide ministerium quod accepisti in Domino ut illud impleas" Col 4.17

Monday, October 06, 2008

September 30-October 6

On the home front this week we had a bit of a scare. Daniel fell on
the playground and injured his arm. At first they talked about
checking him in to the hospital, but in the end they were able to
massage the bone into position and there was no breakage. How we
praise the Lord for His protection. The other activities of the week
were fairly normal. Maribel met with the ladies for their time of
prayer and study and on Friday night we had dinner with an unsaved
couple and had opportunities to share the gospel again with them.

Yesterday I started a new series of sermons based on the sign miracles
recorded in John's gospel. So I started out with the transformation of
water into wine, discussing Jesus's power and authority to transform
lives. Antonio and Gloria from San Vicente were back with us this week
and both commented on the message. Gloria, as I mentioned before, is
going through cancer treatments, which is the reason they have not
been back in the last few weeks. We have been praying for her,
however, and sending her SMS messages on her phone. She expressed her
gratitude for our prayers and encouragement. Lord willing I will be
spending some time with them this week one afternoon. Next week will
be a bit different because our family will be up near Madrid for
special services in a church there. Israel, however, will be
continuing the series from John, and Antonio and Gloria are planning
to be in the service as well. Our afternoon service was rather small.
Israel was down in Alicante to preach there, and Maria Eugenia missed
both services because she missed her bus from Torrevieja where she
spent the day on Saturday. Unfortunately, Sergio took advantage of the
situation and did not come to church either. So in the evening for our
study, it was just our family and Lorenzo and Ana Maria with their
daughter. Please pray for us as we travel up to Madrid on Thursday
morning and as I preach throughout the weekend.

David & Maribel
"vide ministerium quod accepisti in Domino ut illud impleas" Col 4.17

Monday, September 29, 2008

September 23-29

This week we have been back on our normal schedule. I had the study
with Sergio this week and I talked to him very specifically about some
aspects of his appearance and his attitude at home. He seemed to
receive it very well, and I noticed a few changes in his appearance
yesterday. Maribel continues to have good meetings with the ladies, as
they meet for prayer and Bible study. The Lord protected Lorenzo this
past week in his job. There was an accident with some of the heavy
equipment which could easily have killed him, but by God's grace he
ended up with only some stitches in his ear. We are all praying for
him that he would be able to find a new job closer to home.

In our service yesterday morning I preached from the life of
Mephibosheth. When David returned to Jerusalem after Absolom's
rebellion, Mephibosheth received him with joy. There is a lesson in
his joy, for he was more interested in his fellowship with the king
than all the possessions that his servant had gotten through lying
about him to the king. All too often we find ourselves more
preoccupied with possessions than with our King who can give or take
away those possessions. May we treat as most important that which
truly is most important. At noon we enjoyed a meal with all the
students and teachers for the Bible Institute. It was a good time to
celebrate together what the Lord has done and is doing through this
ministry. And in the evening we met for our service at Lorenzo and Ana
Maria's house. We dealt with the Biblical doctrine of salvation and
its fruits, compared to the Adventist teaching concerning the Law.
What a blessing it is to consider our free salvation in Christ and the
working of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

David & Maribel
"vide ministerium quod accepisti in Domino ut illud impleas" Col 4.17

Monday, September 22, 2008

September 16-22

Our big event this week was a church retreat over the weekend. But I
had several other good opportunities this week to share the gospel. I
mentioned last week that we had a couple in our service last week who
were asking a lot of questions. On Wednesday I went and visited them
at their house. I spent three hours with them sharing the gospel. It
was a blessed time as they listened carefully and continued to ask
questions. There were wonderful moments when I could see them grasping
the truth. We are praying for them as a congregation physically, as
she goes through chemotherapy, and spiritually. On Friday evening we
drove up to the mountains to a camp site for our first-ever church
retreat. All of us from here were able to go, as well as Israel, a
lady who worked with Lorenzo and Ana María when they first came to
Christ and a couple we've known for years from the church in Alicante.
We stayed in three beautiful cabins and had a wonderful time of
fellowship, relaxation and BIble study. We studied the book of Second
Peter, talking about all the things that the Lord wants us to
remember. We continued the spirit of the retreat in our Sunday
services, finishing up the studies on 2 Peter and eating together. I
praise the Lord for this important time together to encourage the
believers and challenge them once again with the word. We praise the
Lord for the way that He is working here.

Monday, September 15, 2008

September 9-15

Last week the kids started school again so we are back in our normal schedule. I started band practice as well last week. I signed myself up for the local band. It has been years since I have played in a large ensamble, but more than anything, it is a good way to meet people and be a testimony in the city. The rehearsal schedule is not convenient but at least it doesn't conflict with my other activities: we meet from 10:00 to 12:00 at night! Maribel continues to meet with the ladies for their time of prayer and study during the week. I had hoped to have a study with Sergio this past week, but he ended up going out of town yet again.
Our service yesterday was very full! I think we filled almost every chair. Several families from the Alicante church visited us, as well as Israel's dad. One couple was very special. They came to church in Alicante a few times several years ago, but God has continued to work in their hearts. It is not clear where they are spiritually, but it is obvious that the Spirit is working in their hearts. I preached the Gospel from 1 Corinthians 13.11 about the changes in a believers life. In the evening our little congregation went down to Elche for the evening service. We had a special time of recognition of those who have studied in the Bible Institute this past year and who have finished a certificate. One young person finished the first certificate (two years), another young man who feels called to the ministry received his second certificate (four years) and two young men (Fran and Israel) completed the third and final certificate, represented six years of studies. After receiving a certificate and a Bible, Israel preached the message of the evening. He preached from Ezekiel about Judah's sins which brought about the judgment of God. Please pray with us about our church retreat next weekend. We will be studying the book of 2 Peter as we spend a few days together at some cabins up in the mountains.

Monday, September 08, 2008

September 2-8

This past week, there was a children's BIble club in the church in
Elche. It was a good opportunity to get Sergio under more Bible
teaching. He came with us two days. I would have liked for him to have
been there the entire week, but he had exams on Monday and Tuesday and
then he went to visit some friends on Friday. David and Andrea were
able to go everyday, and enjoyed the week greatly. Yesterday morning
we celebrated the Lord's table before our morning service. It was a
blessing to share this time with the believers and hear how God is
working in their lives.

In the morning service, Israel preached from the book of Ezekiel. He
spoke on God's displeasure concerning sin in His people. We were very
pleased to have two visitors in the service. Bibiana lives in London,
where she got saved, but she comes back to Spain to visit her mother,
and yesterday she brought her to church here in Petrer. We visited
Bibiana and her husband in London last February. In the evening we met
at María Eugenia's house to continue our study on doctrine. We talked
about the Seventh Day Adventists and their prophet, compared to what
we have in the Bible. María Eugenia invited Pedro to bring his wife.
Pedro is a believer who has come to the evangelistic Bible studies we
have given, and he even brought his wife, who is not saved, over to
the house. We had a good opportunity to witness to her, but she has
not come to any of the ladies' studies. We were looking forward to
seeing her again, but in the end she could not come because she was
not feeling very well. We trust that the Lord will continue to work in
Carmen's heart and that we will see her saved one day.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

August 12-September 1

Last week we were able to take a week off to go on vacation up in the Pyrenees on the boarder of Spain and France. It was a wonderful week to spend with our family surrounded by beautiful scenery in the fresh, mountain air. On Sunday we visited some believers that I had met when I spoke at a camp in Barcelona. We enjoyed our time with them very much on Sunday, and then returned home on Monday. The Sunday I was gone, Israel preached here in Petrer. He is one of my students from the Bible Institute who feels called to the ministry. This summer he told me that he felt it was God's timing for him to start helping us here with the work. I look forward to working more closely with this young man in the ministry. We heard good reports about the service on Sunday morning, and on Sunday evening Lorenzo gave a challenge. This is a very good sign of growth in his life.
This Sunday was the first week that Sergio was back. He is struggling with several issues in his life. But we are very glad to see him back. I preached my final sermon in my series on the life of Moses. It was a review of everything we have seen about Moses and a few ideas to wrap it all up. In the evening, we began to talk about what the Seventh Day Adventists believe.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

August 5-11

Last week was the big week of youth camp. On Monday morning we
traveled up to Guadalajara with a car full of young people. I would
have loved for it to have been with young people from Petrer, but we
trust that the Lord will give us young people here in the future. The
Lord did wonderful things for us this week at camp. He blessed the
teaching and preaching in a special way as we talked to the young
people about the fear of man vs. the fear of the Lord. I taught a
short session every day at noon from Proverbs and a class in the
afternoons to deal with practical issues that young men face. Maribel
was a counselor for one of the girls' cabins. We arrived home on
Saturday afternoon completely exhausted, but happy to have had the
opportunity to serve the Lord.
We had a few unexpected visitors on Sunday morning. Lorenzo's brother
and friend came down to visit and came to church, as well as Ana
Maria's brother. Back in November we gave him a ride to Madrid and had
a good opportunity to witness clearly to him on the way. Sunday was
the first time he had come to church with us. We also had some
visitors from the Elche church. It was Jamie's last Sunday with us so
she shared her testimony with us. I preached about Moises' problems
with the leaders of Israel who were jealous of Moises (Num. 16-17). In
the evening we all went down to Elche to be in the service there.
Lorenzo and I played a duet and we participated in the camp testimony

Monday, July 28, 2008

July 22-28

The Lord gave David and Jamie a good week at camp. They left early Monday morning and spent the week up in Guadalajara. We are very proud of David for winning a prize for verse memorization. Jamie did a good job working in the kitchen once again. Here at home things were a little quieter with just two children, but we had a good week too! I was able to finish up some of my preparation for the youth camp next week. I prepared all of the morning devotionals for the cabins, and I will be speaking every day on a verse from Proverbs as well as giving some classes to the boys in the afternoons about topics like materialism and relationships. We are excited about camp and asking the Lord for His blessings.

Our morning service yesterday was slightly smaller than usual. Maria Eugenia has a job taking care of an elderly man, and she had to work at 12.30. She felt that she wouldn't have time to come to the service and make it to work. She was with us for our evening service, though. In the morning I preached about Moses' problems with his family (Nu. 12) when God defended him before Miriam and Aaron as being completely faithful. In the evening we met at Lorenzo and Ana Maria's house and we talked about the Biblical doctrine of salvation compared to what the Jehovah's Witnesses believe about salvation.

Monday, July 21, 2008

July 15-21

Jamie, the student from BJU who is doing her missions internship with us this summer, has been meeting people here in town to exchange conversation in English for conversation in Spanish. This week she brought Juani to house so that we could meet her. It turns out that Juani grew up as a Jehovah's Witness. Maribel and Jamie were able to clearly share the gospel with her. We praise the Lord for this new contact! On Saturday evening the couples from Elche came up and passed out tracts. We went to several local parks to talk to people. We were pleased to see the response of some people to the tracts. Afterwards we had a good time of fellowship at our home. I shared a challenge with them from Colossians 3.12-14.

Yesterday we had no visitors in our service, but all of us were present except Sergio who is out of town visiting his mother. I spoke in the morning about the problems at Mt. Sinai. The people thought they could modify God's plan for them and ended up worshiping the golden calf. But we can never replace God's will with our own. God can, however, replace our will with His own (Phil. 2.13). In the evening we met at Maria Eugenia's house for our study. We were pleased that Pedro came. He is a believer we made contact with when we were distributing tracts. In our study we looked at what the Jehovah's Witnesses believe about Hell compared to what we find in the Bible.

This week David and Jamie are up at camp. We trust that the Lord will richly bless them this week.

Monday, July 14, 2008

July 08-14

Andrea and Jamie spent last week at camp. Jamie, the intern from BJU who is spending the summer here in Spain, worked in the kitchen and Andrea was a camper. They both had a good week. We were very proud of Andrea because she won a trophy for memorizing verses. On Wednesday last week, Maribel and Ana María drove down to Torrevieja, about an hour away, with Maria Eugenia to visit her son. He and his wife just had a baby, so the women prepared a special gift for them and made a visit. It was a good opportunity to show the love of Christ to a couple who have heard much about Christ from Maria Eugenia but are not saved. We also said goodbye to Sergio this week. He will be visiting his biological mother for a month. We had hoped that he would be able to go to camp this summer, but Social Services had already scheduled this visit with his family.
The Lord gave us good services yesterday. In the morning I preached about Moses' problems in the desert, as the people complained about what the Lord had given them, about what the Lord had (supposedly) taken away from them, and about what the Lord had not given them. In the evening we met at Lorenzo and Ana Maria's house to continue our study about what we believe (compared to the Jehovah's Witnesses). We talked this week about the Holy Spirit.

Monday, July 07, 2008

June 24-July 07

Last week I never got to writing. I had my last day of official work at the university on Monday and then a camping trip on Monday afternoon. David turned 10, so I and another adult took seven of David's friends on a camping trip. We had a great time on the mountain and had good opportunity for spiritual challenges. David said that it was an unforgettable birthday party. But it seemed that after that, I was running the rest of the week to catch up. And all that led into a very full weekend. On Saturday morning we finally met to work on our trombone quartet. We are trying to prepare music to be able to present in a church after the summer is over. We had a good rehearsal and all are excited about it. On Saturday afternoon we had the young people up from Elche and Alicante to pass out tracts. We covered several areas, putting tracts in the mailboxes (which is legal here) and a different flyer on windshields. There was a good spirit among the young people, and we are praying that the Lord will use this effort to reach people with the Gospel message.

Yesterday we had record attendance in our services with some friends visiting from Alicante and Elche. These visit always do a lot to encourage the three families living here. Our morning started off with our celebration of the Lord's table. Then in the service we looked at Exodus 14 and the "Moses' Problems at the Red Sea". When a problem comes, you either look inward and let yourself worry or you can look upward and let God work. In the afternoon we looked at what the Jehovah's witnesses believe about the person of Christ and compared it to the Biblical doctrine of Christ. There was good participation by all present. Jamie, our intern from BJU has been doing a great job. She has been taking all the children to do classes with them during the adults' study. Tomorrow, Andrea and Jamie will be headed up near Madrid for a week of camp. Maribel will be driving them up and coming back the same day.

June 17-23

The kids finished up their school year this past week. That means that summer is finally here for them! We are making plans for children's camp. I had hoped that perhaps Maria Eugenia's granddaughter would be able to go to camp, but it does not look like it will be possible. Sergio is supposed to leave for the summer, but we are praying that he will be able to go to young people's camp first.
Jamie, the missions student from Bob Jones doing her internship with us, went down to Alicante on Saturday evening for the youth meeting there. Here at home we had our normal group for the service. But just as we were starting we were surprised by a visit from some friends of ours who used to live in Elche. It was a blessing to have them with us in our service as I preached about Moses and his problems with the leaders of the people. He was the right man doing the right job in the right way, but things just did not seem to go "right". Pharaoh ended up making the work load heavier and the people cursed Moses. My phrase for this message was "God never asked us to understand Him; just to know Him." Moses once again had to trust the Lord that he was on the right path and that all would work out. In the evening we began a new topic. Several commented that they wanted to study what other religions believe, so we will be taking several weeks to dig into doctrine and compare what we believe with the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Adventists and the Mormons.

Monday, June 16, 2008

June 10-16

This past week Jamie arrived. She is a student at BJU who is studying missions. She will be with us all summer to have some first hand experience with missions. So far she has fit right in with the family and the ministry. Right off the bat she has been spending time with the women in our little congregation. And the people have accepted her nicely. This weekend was a very special time. A lady we met in Alicante years ago came up and spent the weekend with us. She is a believer and a very special friend. Two years ago I preached her husband's funeral. For the last year and a half, she has been in Argentina, but she returned last week and gave us a call. We had good opportunities to talk about spiritual things and encourage her.

This week the ladies had their prayer time/Bible study as usual, and I did the study with Sergio. Unfortunately he was away for the weekend, so he wasn't in any of the services yesterday. We had a special treat on Saturday evening. We were going to drop by and visit Lorenzo and Ana María, but as we got near their house, we saw them coming towards us with Gospel flyers in their hands. They were out passing out tracts as a family. What a blessing it is to see believers involved in sharing the Gospel in this way. So we split up the flyers and helped them pass them out. On Sunday Lorenzo and Ana María were not in the service here because they went to Alicante. The pastor there asked them to come and share a testimony with the church, since the church gave them an offering a few months back when Lorenzo was out of work. But their absence was made up by a few visitors from the church in Elche. We continued our series on Moses, looking at the excuses that Moses gave for not wanting to do God's will. In the evening we met at Lorenzo and Ana Maria's place for our last study in the series on the church. We looked at several signs of a healthy church.

June 03-09

After last week's contact with Carmen, we were excited about the possibility of her coming to the ladies' Bible study. But unfortunately she did not come this week. We will continue to pray for her and seek opportunities to share Christ's love with her. I continue to have good opportunities in the Bible study with Sergio. He suddenly started wearing a crucifix a few weeks ago, so we talked about it last week. He claims to be saved, but it is always good to go back over the gospel, and the crucifix provided the perfect opportunity as I shared with him the importance of Christ's death AND resurrection. Maria Eugenia thinks that Sergio will soon be leaving to spend the summer with his family in another part of Spain, so we must take advantage of every opportunity the Lord gives us with him. He came and spent the better part of Saturday with our family.
On Sunday I continued our series on Moses. We looked this week at the problems that Moses had as he was beginning his mission. He had a wonderful start, but he got ahead of God, and there are always problems when we get ahead of God, no matter how good the thing may be that we are trying to do. For our evening service we watched a gospel film and then had some time to talk about it afterwards. It was good to see how people were able to relate its message to the sermon from the morning.

May 27-June 02

Last week my parents left. We had a good time with them and were able to do some special things. I was especially appreciative of the advice and encouragement that they gave us. On Wednesday we got back into our normal schedule. I had the Bible study with Sergio and David while Maribel met with the ladies for a time of prayer. On Thursday I met with a Christian man from town who called me two years ago after receiving a tract in his mailbox. I have prayed often for his unsaved wife, but the Lord put it on my heart to invite them over for lunch on Saturday. He was skeptical whether or not she would come, but we prayed about it and he promised to talk to her. To make a long story short, he and his wife spent a wonderful day with us and another Christian family from the Alicante church. After lunch we had a short devotional in which I presented the plan of salvation. She listened carefully and is interested in meeting with the women for their time of study.
Yesterday in our service, after celebrating the Lord's table, we started a new series of sermons on the life of Moses. I have called it, "Why so many problems?" We looked at all of the problems surrounding Moses' birth. The solution for his parents was found in their faith, according to Hebrews. They trusted God and He used that "problem" to prepare Moses for his future service for God. In the afternoon we finished up out discussion on spiritual gifts with the second half of last week's study on the gift of tongues.

May 20-26

Last week I prayed very specifically about Lorenzo's work. I asked the Lord to give him a job this week if it was His will. I was really hoping that he would find work here in Elda, but the Lord answered in another way. They called him from a company in Alicante, and he is starting work today. This means that he has to travel almost an hour on his motorcycle to get to work and then another hour in the evening to get home. The hours are long, but at least he will be earning money. It doesn't seem like a long term job, but it is the answer to our prayers. Last week Lorenzo came to my Bible institute classes with me since he was not working yet. We were covering James and Hebrews. It was a special blessing to go through these books.
This was the last Sunday that my parents will be here, so it was nice to have my dad preach. He preached about the "complaint" sections of Jeremiah. It was a good message for our congregation. It reminded all of us that we must keep our eyes on the Lord and His promises to us. In the evening we met at María Eugenia's house for our study. We talked this week about the gift of tongues. We looked at the book of Acts and then started to look at 1 Corintians 14. We'll be coming back to this study next week, Lord willing. All of the believers in our little church are first generation Christians, and all have had at least some contact with Charismatics, so it is important to make sure that we have a firm base to understand the Scriptural focus on gifts.

May 13-19

Maribel and I celebrated our anniversary this past week. How we praise the Lord for these thirteen years the Lord has given us together. Last year we had to celebrate our anniversary in the hospital, so this year it was special just to leave the kids with my parents one night and go out together on a little date. We had many of our other normal activities this week. Marbel met with the ladies for a Bible study and I had our Bible study with Sergio. My Bible Institute class continue to go well. This past week we finished up the Pastoral Epistles. This week we will be starting the General Epistles. We have finally finished the construction project downstairs. So we had Lorenzo and Ana Maria over on Friday to help clean up all of the dust and dirt.
Yesterday we had good services. Unfortunately, Maria Eugenia and Sergio were out of town because of a local holiday. We were happy to have a family up from Alicante to visit. I preached my second message from Colossians about seeking the things from above. This week we looked at 3.2-4. There are two phrases there that really catch my attention: our life is hid with Christ in God and Christ is our life. We talked about several practical aspects of seeking the things above, like how we can do it, why we can do it, and why we should do it. In the evening my parents went down to the church in Elche and my father preached there. So it was just Lorenzo's family and mine. We met at their house and watched a Christian film together and then had a time of prayer.

May 06-12

On Tuesday my parents arrived. They will be with us over the next three weeks. But we had a weekend with plenty of activity. On Saturday Maribel organized a ladies' tea for Mothers' Day. She as well as the other ladies in the church invited neighbors and friends over to our house. She also asked a lady from the church in Murcia to come up and speak to the group. We had a wonderful lunch with the lady and her husband, and the ladies had an excellent meeting. I was very encouraged by the fact that several of our neighbors came. One of our neighbors has studied quite a bit with the Jehovah's witnesses, and she asked a lot of questions. Another neighbor took a Bible with her and promised to read it. Yesterday God blessed in our services. María Eugenia had her grandkids with her over the weekend, so we had extra children. I preached from Colossians 3 about seeking spiritual things. After the message, we split up and the adults spent a time of sharing and singing while Maribel took the kids and reviewed the message with them. In the afternoon we continued our study on the Church. I spoke this week about the temporal gifts. This was a very important part of the study because several in the group have had some contact in the past with charismatic groups, so I want them to understand clearly what the Bible teaches. The Lord blessed and there was a very good spirit.

Monday, May 05, 2008

April 29-May 05

This week we had some special days off from work because of a holiday. So it was nice to take a break from the routine. On Thursday we were able to take Sergio and Maria Eugenia with us to spend the day with a Christian family about 45 min. from here. Bible Institute continues well. Lorenzo was able to come to class one day with me this week. We continue to advance through the Epistles. Last week we talked about Ephesians and Colossians. Yesterday we had a very small service. Lorenzo and Ana Maria were here with their daughter, but Maria Eugenia ended ended up going to visit her daughter since it was Mothers' Day. We celebrated the Lord's supper and then had our normal service. In the evening we traveled down to Murcia with the young people that I traveled with over Easter and presented the same program in the church there. It was a blessing to be able to present it again, and many in the church commented on the blessing they received. There were also two unsaved university students who came to church for the first time and heard a clear presentation of the gospel.

April 29-May 05

This week we had some special days off from work because of a holiday. So it was nice to take a break from the routine. On Thursday we were able to take Sergio and Maria Eugenia with us to spend the day with a Christian family about 45 min. from here. Bible Institute continues well. Lorenzo was able to come to class one day with me this week. We continue to advance through the Epistles. Last week we talked about Ephesians and Colossians. Yesterday we had a very small service. Lorenzo and Ana Maria were here with their daughter, but Maria Eugenia ended ended up going to visit her daughter since it was Mothers' Day. We celebrated the Lord's supper and then had our normal service. In the evening we traveled down to Murcia with the young people that I traveled with over Easter and presented the same program in the church there. It was a blessing to be able to present it again, and many in the church commented on the blessing they received. There were also two unsaved university students who came to church for the first time and heard a clear presentation of the gospel.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

April 22-28

We have been very busy this week. Since Lorenzo is out of work, I asked him to help me with a church construction project. We have been digging out an area to create another access to the area where we meet. I think that this will make our meeting space much more convenient. Lorenzo has done a fantastic job, but there has been a lot of work for us. We have carted out hundreds of pounds of earth and stones to create a space for a mason to come and build the stairs. I am glad for this time with Lorenzo. And God has used it to supply his needs right now as he is without work.

And I just realized that I have not said anything here about Bible Institute. I began another class this month, the second half of the New Testament Introduction course I taught last year. I have a small group, but we are enjoying the time together. Since Lorenzo has been out of work, he has been coming with me to some of the classes. This past week we talked about Romans and Ephesians. It is always a blessing for me to be able to teach these courses.

Our "normal" activities were all in swing this week. On Wednesday I met with Sergio for our Bible study while Maribel met with the ladies. Sergio is really struggling. He seems to genuinely enjoy the study, but when he gets back into his life, he struggles with what he is really going to do with God. On Friday we met at the public library for our second Bible study. All of us were present, along with Pedro, a believer who responded to one of our tracts over a year ago. We had hoped for another visitor, but as of yet, we have no response. We had a good time studying John 1.4-9. It was profitable for the believers even if none of the unbelievers we invited came. On Sunday we had a very special day. We invited the Dodgens family from Elche to come up and be with us in our service. Two others from the church ended up coming along as well, so we had a good group. After the service we all ate lunch together. In the afternoon we continued our study on the church. We are talking about the gifts right now.

April 14-21

I can't believe that it has been a month already since I last wrote. There has been a series of events that has kept me from writing these weekly reports, but I am back at it! The first was the team of young people that I took out over the Easter break. We had wonderful meetings in six different churches in central and western Spain. The Lord blessed in our lives as we shared and sang and in the people who came to the services. There were many visitors in the services, one profession of faith and many believers who expressed God's working in their lives.
This past week we began working on another entrance to the basement where we have our services. Since Lorenzo lost his job this month, he has been coming to help every morning. We have a lot of work ahead, but it is progressing slowly. In the middle of the week we had a funeral down in Alicante. Carlos, one of the men in the church when I came to Alicante, finally passed away. He has slowly degenerated over the last five years, and on Tuesday evening the Lord called him home. It was especially for his mother who is 88. He was really the only person she had left in this world. Perhaps now she can begin coming to church again. He has been so sick for the last few years that she has not been to church much at all. Yesterday we had good services. In the morning we ended up meeting in our living room because of all the dust from the work downstairs, so our service felt different, but the Lord blessed as I spoke about God's purposes for suffering people. Elena, a girl from the church in Alicante came up for lunch and spent the afternoon with us. We met for our evening study at Lorenzo and Ana María's house. I taught about spiritual gifts in my series about the church. It was a good time of fellowship.

March 11-17

On Friday night we held our first public Bible study in the library. We gave out some invitations personally and put up a few announcements. On Friday evening at 7:00 there were five of us who met. Maribel kept all of the kids here at the house so all of our people could be at the study. Pedro, a man I met over a year ago who is already a believer came to the study as well. Unfortunately we did not have any visitors. But we began our study of the Gospel of John. After we spent about an hour studying together, we took thirty minutes to pray together. Lord willing we will be repeating this activity on a regular basis. And we trust that next time we will be able to have some more visitors with us.

This Sunday morning we met early once again to celebrate the Lord's Supper. Normally we have celebrated it on the first Sunday of the month, but this month we wanted to wait and celebrate it closer to Easter. We had a very special time of sharing and reflection as we broke bread together. Following communion we had our normal service I spoke from Psalm 115 about our God who knows no limitations. I applied it to Christ, especially focusing on the resurrection. In the evening we all went down to Elche for the special Easter cantata. It was a blessing for all of our small congregation to be present for the cantata.

Monday, March 10, 2008

March 04-10

There has been a lot to keep us active this week. On the home front,
we had to make a trip to Valencia this week to see a heart specialist.
It was last year this week that it all started. I was in a doctor's
office for an ultrasound on my heart. When he finished, he informed me
that it was time for open heart surgery. Wednesday, almost exactly one
year later, we spent the morning in Valencia at the pediatric heart
specialist center. But this time, I wasn't the one on the table, it
was David. Let me fill in some of the details.

Back in September, we signed him up to play soccer on a team. He was
so excited to get his uniform and start going to practice. We took him
to a doctor to get a physical exam. Maribel was with the other kids,
and I stayed with David in the doctor's office. It seemed strange to
me that he was taking so long with the stethoscope. The thought
actually entered my mind, "What if he is hearing some problem in the
heart?" Of course I dismissed this as silly. When David was born we
were very concerned about whether or not he had a heart problem. But
the doctor told us that his heart was completely normal. And no doctor
along the way had noticed anything strange. However, when this doctor
finished listening, he told me that he couldn't sign the form because
David has a heart murmur. The news hit both of us like a load of
bricks. I had been out of the hospital for only three months, and
David had just seen everything that I had gone through in my surgery.
We walked away from there in silence, father and son immersed in our
own thoughts. I still remember very well my doctor's visit at 14 when
they told me that I had to stop playing sports. At the time it seemed
like crushing news. And now I could see it rolling over my son, but at
the age of 9.

Well, they told David that he could practice with the team, although
he couldn't play in the games because his physical was not signed yet.
And we started working on getting an appointment with a heart
specialist. At one point, we even went to a different doctor who
listened to him, didn't hear anything, and thus signed his physical.
That allowed David to play at least in a few games with his team. But
there was still something there. The only question was how severe it
would be. Last week they gave us an appointment to go to Valencia.

So on Wednesday morning we got the kids up at 6.00 am so we could make
it to the hospital by 9.00. When we arrived and checked in, they
started doing all of the tests: electro, chest X-rays, and then
finally ultrasound. The doctors have rated his condition as moderate
to severe. His valve seems to have the same basic problem as mine had,
but just the opposite: mine didn't open well, and his doesn't close
well. Mine affected the aorta as the blood shot out through a smaller
opening, causing the aorta to expand. David's valve does not close
well, causing the ventricle to receive too much blood, and therefore
expand. The doctor told us that his ventricle is roughly the size of
an adult ventricle. This means that they are looking at doing surgery
to fix this problem. The heart specialist will see him again in eight
months and then they will begin to talk about dates for surgery. Her
first comment was that it was a question of months. But then she said
that it could possibly wait a year or maybe two.

David has been taking it very well. I sat down with him and talked to
him about it. His only answer to me was, "Daddy, I know God wanted it
this way." We are praying for God to do something special, if it is
His will. Please pray with us too about this.

For church we had a slightly smaller service this week. It was
election day, and it turned out that Maria Eugenia was still
registered to vote in Torrevieja, so she took Sergio and went to vote
and spend the day there with family there. Lorenzo and Ana María were
in the service. We talked about the fruit of the Spirit as compared to
the works of the flesh. Our liberty in Christ is not an occasion for
the flesh. It is an opportunity for the Spirit to produce fruit in our

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February 26-March 03

One of the big highlights this week was a young people's meeting in
Elche on Saturday. More than 60 young people came from Murcia,
Almería, Alicante and Valencia. I was able to preach to the group in
the evening. The theme was separation, so I spoke on the Spirit's role
in transforming our lives so that we can be different from the world.
The young people were attentive and several commented on the message.
One young man in particular came and asked me to pray for him with
some of his struggles.

The other activities of this week were the normal ones. I continued
on with the Bible study with Sergio. Maribel met with the ladies again
for their study. Yesterday we had good services. I spoke from
Galatians 3-4 about how the Law leads to Christ. It is a tutor which
prepared the way for faith. In the evening we met at Lorenzo and Ana
Maria's house for our study on the church. During the next two weeks
we will be getting ready for an evangelistic activity. Lord willing we
will be holding an evangelistic Bible study at the public library
right before Easter. We need the Lord's blessing on this activity.

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February 19-25

This past week was normal enough, but we had a few extra activities
over the weekend that made it special. I did the Bible study with
Sergio on Wednesday, and things continue to go well. We've been
talking about reading the Bible daily. He tells me that he doesn't
have time to read, but I am encouraging him to find the time! Maribel
met with the ladies this week for their study as well. The first
special activity of the weekend involved a question answer session
with a group of young people. They sent me their questions and then on
Friday afternoon I spent two straight hours with them answering
questions. Many of them asked very good questions, and the time spent
with them was a real blessing. Then Maribel, Ana Maria and Maria
Eugenia spent Friday evening and all day Saturday at the ladies'
conference in Elche. That meant that I had to take care of our kids
and Sergio. But the ladies all gave testimony on Sunday of the
blessings received in the conference. Maribel gave her testimony as
part of the conference.

On Sunday morning I preached from Galatians about the reason for the
Law. I was only able to cover part of the topic, so I will come back
to it again next week. But in part, God gave to law to reveal His
character and ours. The Law reminds us that we are sinners and that
God is holy. In this sense, the Law is what leads us to Christ, our
tutor. In the evening we had our study at Maria Eugenia's house. We
looked at the activities we see in the New Testament that individual
believers carried out. This is designed to keep before us what we
should be doing on as individual members of the church. We cannot just
sit back and be content with what the church does. We must be actively
and individually involved in praise, prayer, witnessing, offering, etc.

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Monday, February 18, 2008

February 4-18

Even though it seems like it was a long time ago, it was just last week that we were in London. On February 4th I attended a conference on translation to read a paper. It was a very interesting conference and my paper about translation theory went well. It was also a big help for us to be able to get away for a few days. After the conference ended, Maribel flew in and we spent three days in London. On Sunday morning we went to church with a couple we had met before. She is a Spaniard who went to London to work and got saved. Her husband is Mexican, and his story is similar. They attend the Metropolitan Tabernacle in downtown London. We spent a few hours with them on Saturday night, and then went to church with them on Sunday. It was a blessing to hear their testimonies and see their spiritual growth. Back in Petrer, Missionary Flay Allen came to cover our service on Sunday morning. Both of the other families were able to be there, as well as our children.

Once back from London, we had to hit the road running. All of the activities were in full swing. On Wednesday Sergio came over to the house and we had our Bible study. Maribel moved the ladies' study to Valentine's day to celebrate it with the other ladies. They are preparing for a ladies' conference in Elche next week. Then on Saturday, Lorenzo and Ana Maria came over and stayed with our kids so that Maribel and I could attend a Valentine's banquet at the church in Alicante. We had a good time with 10 other couples. Some of them are new to the church, so it was nice to get to know them a little better. On Sunday we had our normal services. I continued my series on Galatians, speaking about our liberty in Christ. Paul describes it as no longer living, but having Christ live through him. This is what brings him the liberty from trying to fulfill the law to please God. Now he his free to please God through a life of faith in Christ. In the evening we all met in Lorenzo and Ana Maria's apartment to continue our study on the church. We finished up the different activities that we see local churches involved in throughout the New Testament. The studies are going well, and helping our small congregation understand the Biblical concept of a church.

January 22-28

This last week sped up and flew by us leaving us a tad bit behind on everything. I was able to start up my Bible study with Sergio again this week. It has worked really well to include David in the study. I am still surprised and pleased at Sergio's attitude. At first I suspected that he almost "put up" with the Bible study. But now he seems to be genuinely interested. I asked both boys to write a little text about what they were learning. Sergio surprised me and wrote a whole page! We were able to have a special "fun" time with some very special friends from the Alicante church on Saturday. We took them to the zoo. Lorenzo and Maria were even able to come along. This was a wonderful day with our family and friends.

On Sunday morning I preached my second sermon in my series on Galatians. I preached about Paul's re-presentation of the gospel from Galatians 3-4a. It was special to find out that Maricarmen from Alicante had decided to come up to be with us, and her unsaved husband came along. It was the perfect message for him to hear. I was very pleased to see him reacting to the message and showing he was following the progression of the message. We trust that the Lord will use this to continue to work in his heart.

January 15-21

Last Monday was the start of Bible Institute. I began for Dennis Flower who was still in the States after his father passed away. I taught the class on Monday and Wednesday about Church History. We have a good group of about 10 students who will be studying this trimester. This week we have also been doing some work on the house. I hired a mason to come and build some walls. We started with a wall at the back of the property to replace the old fence. And then we are building two walls down in the basement to take advantage of the space better. One will create a storage area and the other will give us a room where we can have homeschool. Up until now we have used one corner of the basement, but it was impossible to heat. This will also be a space that we can take advantage of for the church.

On Sunday we had our normal group from here. It was the first time Maria Eugenia and Sergio were here on a Sunday since the Christmas break began. We started a new series of messages on the book of Galatians. Besides looking at the background information on the epistle, we looked at the salutation. We noted the three major themes of the book that appear in those verses (a re-presentation of the gospel, a defense of Paul's apostleship, and a treatise on the Christian's liberty) as well as the specific emphasis on the gospel: Christ died for our sins to rescue us from this present age because it was the will of God. After the service we took the kids and went downtown for a parade and to pass out some tracts. Unfortunately we didn't see much of the parade, because it hadn't started yet, but we got to pass out some tracts. In the evening we all met at Maria Eugenia's house and continued our study on the church. We were noting where the early church met, when they met, and how they made decisions. All of this is very important in creating a Biblical idea of the church.

January 8-14

On Friday afternoon I traveled to Madrid by train to teach an all-day class on the book of Jeremiah. I had originally planned to drive up with Maribel, but in the end, our car was still in the body shop being repaired from the hail storm back in September when I taught the classes on Ezekiel up in northern Spain. Saturday was full of blessings. There were almost 50 people in the classes, and the Lord blessed the time greatly. It has been a special blessing for me to work on these studies on this special book. The classes began at 9:00 after a great breakfast and finished at 5:00. The time of fellowship was a blessing as well. I was able to see many friends from the Madrid area throughout the day. By 6:30 I was on the train headed back home, and my family was waiting at the station for me when I arrived.

We had good services on Sunday. We had hoped that Maria Eugenia would be back for Sunday, but she was out of town visiting her children. One family visited from Alicante this week. We enjoyed a good time of communion and then the service. I preached from Jeremiah, focusing especially on God's mandate in his calling. In the evening we got together at Lorenzo and Ana Maria's place to start a study about the church. I trust these studies will help focus our activities as a church.

One final blessing: Over the past few weeks my lap-top has slowly been dying. The backlight for the screen has been flickering on and off for a while now, but it finally died, making the screen impossible to see. I was not looking forward to what it would cost to fix the laptop or buy a new one. But in Madrid I was with missionary Marvin Robertson, who had a laptop almost identical to mine, except that he dropped his last year and the processor was not functioning. He allowed me to bring his computer back with me, and I managed to build one good laptop out of the two broken computers. I have to thank the Lord for His help in all of this. There were A LOT of pieces and bunches of tiny screws, but I managed to get them all into place, and my computer is working again!

Monday, January 07, 2008


Originally uploaded by David_B_Bell
This is our Christmas card this year. We were able to give these out to all of our neighbors and contacts here in Petrer (a Spanish version). We trust that the Lord will use our testimony as a family to open the door for further witness.

Kids at Christmas

Originally uploaded by David_B_Bell
Here are the three kids in December. There was a beautiful sunset that evening, so I shot a few pictures of it, but decided to make it even better by getting the three kids in the shot!

Christmas dinner

Christmas dinner
Originally uploaded by David_B_Bell
Here is a shot of our Christmas dinner with our congregation in Petrer. We had a great time together and then afterwards enjoyed singing carols and sharing blessings.

Christmas carols at the mall

The evening of the cantata, we got permission to play a brass quartet at the local mall. We played 1 hr. of Christmas carols and announced the cantata that night.

January 1-7

The new year has arrived which means that we have been holding services here in Petrer for 6 months now. I praise the Lord for this time. We can clearly see how the Lord has blessed and worked in and through us during this time. Saturday was a special time for us because we were able to have our first men's prayer breakfast here in Petrer. We had a good group of men from Elche and Alicante come up to be with us. I trust that as we continue with these breakfasts we will be able to have more men from here join us!

This past week we had two holidays: New Years and Kings Day. Yesterday morning I preached about the prophecy of Messiah being born in Bethlehem. Even though the city was small, it would be great, for Messiah was to be born there: the great leader and shepherd of God's people. He is our leader and shepherd, so we too should be moved to worship Him and give all to Him. In the evening I preached in the church in Elche. I preached from Jeremiah 1 about obeying God's will for our lives. I continue to prepare for the Bible institute this Saturday in Madrid about the book of Jeremiah.