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 MarĂ­a'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.