Spain

Spain: Dancing in the Rain

We battled the rain for most all of our festivals and last night’s festival was no exception.  We had gone before the Lord the day before to pray especially for fair weather so we could have our festival. This is why we came.

 

We began to set up our tents and again the wind started to blow and the rain began to fall, really fall.  I’ll admit we were a little discouraged. And then the music began and a few dancers decided to dance in the rain, and then a few more. A couple of the seminary students who have been working with us even went out to dance since there wasn't anything for them to do. People began to gather and watch from covered doorways and they asked who we were and why were we dancing in the rain. The dancing in the rain made them even more curious about us and more open to hearing the gospel. 100 people heard the gospel and 40 people made decisions to follow Christ that night. Most of the decisions were made during that time! The rain did finally clear up and we were able to set up the festival for our last night in San Sebastian. Praise be to God who is sovereign over all things!

  

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There are still many who need to hear the gospel here and at home but we must never give up and get discouraged. Pastor Unai told us that when we come, it's like reinforcements have come in to help with the battle for souls. Let us remember to pray for him and his church as they are on the front lines everyday in San Sebastian, Spain. 

  

As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:9

Spain: Encuentro Con Dios

After a good night's rest, we drove over to spend Sunday morning with the "Iglesia Evangelica, Encuentro con Dios", Evangelical Church,Encounter with God.  Unai Arretxe is the pastor of the church and we have worked with him since 2007. It has been so exciting to see the church grow into a thriving church here in San Sebastian over the years. They happened to be celebrating their 10 year anniversary on this Sunday with  music and dances, a beautiful beach baptism of seven new believers and a delicious Spanish meal. Great is his faithfulness!

Celebrating 10 year Anniversary - Encuentro con Dios

Celebrating 10 year Anniversary - Encuentro con Dios

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beach baptism

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 After we had lunch, the time had come to set up for our first festival. The morning and early afternoon had been sunny and warm but as we were setting up for our first festival, we could see gray clouds starting to form. We set up our tents and started the festival with a huge crowd. People of all ages joined in our dances and participated in the crafts and games we brought. Manny and Unai shared the gospel several times over the evening. The gospel was also shared one on one 216 times and 42 people made the decision to trust in Jesus! We were amazed and overjoyed at the response tonight. And the rain held off until it was time to tear down!  

Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit ,says the Lord Almighty. Zechariah 4:6

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Way down yonder on the Chattahoochee!

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Bottle Rockets are always a big hit!

Spain: The Grateful Eight

We finally made it to our hotel in San Sebastian, Spain! Our smallish group, smaller than in years past had a relatively smooth trip but we are nonetheless grateful to finally arrive at our hotel. This year we are meeting up with a group from Shelter Cove Community Church in California to minister with Manny Fernandez Jr. a longtime Johnson Ferry Missionary partner of World Link Ministries, to share Jesus through Western line dancing festivals.

After meeting the group at the airport in Madrid, we board a bus to drive 5 hours to San Sebastian. Although we were admonished to not fall asleep on the bus so we could get our body clocks on local time as soon as possible, I noticed several nodding heads and I didn't hear much talking. We'll try again after we stop for lunch. 

At lunch we are able to get to know the Shelter Cove people a little and already we can feel a unity with our California brothers and sisters in Christ. This is their first trip to minister with Manny and they are excited to see what it's like.

In our evening wrap up meeting, we pray together for the upcoming festivals, especially for good weather. The forecast is calling for rain most of the week, but we are praying in faith for the festivals to bring glory to God this week in San Sebastian. 

 

Evening wrap up to plan our first day of ministry tomorrow! 

Evening wrap up to plan our first day of ministry tomorrow! 

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Lunch break on our bus ride to San Sebastián  

SPAIN: To God Be the Glory!

This sign --Jesus Christ is the Way -- was hung at each festival. 

This sign --Jesus Christ is the Way -- was hung at each festival. 

Our final day in Tenerife began with another distribution in the neighborhood surrounding a second "daughter church" of the church in La Cuesta.  After another great lunch provided by the church, we had the afternoon to pack our suitcases, prepare for the final festival, and spend a little time shopping or walking in the area around the hotel.   

According to our team leader, Tom Hall, the festival on Thursday evening was the best one he's seen in the seven years that he has been doing these trips!  There were lots of people, lots of energy, and lots of lives changed as a result of the one-on-one gospel presentations that were made throughout the evening!  We have rejoiced all week to see how open the people of Tenerife have been to hearing the gospel message!

When the festival finally came to a close,  we went back to the church for a delicious traditional Spanish meal.  Then good-byes were said, hugs were given, and grateful hearts rejoiced to hear that over the course of the four festivals....284 PEOPLE ACCEPTED CHRIST and 733 PEOPLE HEARD A ONE-ON-ONE GOSPEL PRESENTATION!  

Most of the team left the hotel at 4:30am on Friday morning to make the long flight back to Atlanta, and those from the seminary returned to Madrid.  We are all very tired at the end of this busy week, but we are leaving with great joy and many new friends!  TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

Pastor. Miguel who has been ministering at the church in La Cuesta and the two "daughter churches" is anticipating retirement in the next year and a half.  Pictured above are Dani, Carol, and their daughter Sofia.  The La Cuesta church is Carol's home church.  Please pray for Dani and Carol as they are feeling the Lord leading them to potentially return to the church when Dani finishes seminary in America in two years.

Pastor. Miguel who has been ministering at the church in La Cuesta and the two "daughter churches" is anticipating retirement in the next year and a half.  Pictured above are Dani, Carol, and their daughter Sofia.  The La Cuesta church is Carol's home church.  Please pray for Dani and Carol as they are feeling the Lord leading them to potentially return to the church when Dani finishes seminary in America in two years.

We gave festival invitations and pamphlets to people we met on the streets and left them under doors and in mailboxes at these homes and apartments nearby.

We gave festival invitations and pamphlets to people we met on the streets and left them under doors and in mailboxes at these homes and apartments nearby.

Dani, Carol, and Alejandra were among the Spanish speakers who shared the one-on-one gospel presentations. 

Dani, Carol, and Alejandra were among the Spanish speakers who shared the one-on-one gospel presentations. 

Team members from Madrid and JFBC were available at the Salvation tent to talk with people who had questions. 

Team members from Madrid and JFBC were available at the Salvation tent to talk with people who had questions. 

Mary used this special "tool" to share Christ with many young people. 

Mary used this special "tool" to share Christ with many young people. 

Jameleth shared bracelets and other materials at the festivals. 

Jameleth shared bracelets and other materials at the festivals. 

Santiago shared the gospel with many people throughout the week and led many to Christ! 

Santiago shared the gospel with many people throughout the week and led many to Christ! 

These young people added a lot of energy and enthusiasm to our festivals, but they were also committed to sharing Christ whenever possible!

These young people added a lot of energy and enthusiasm to our festivals, but they were also committed to sharing Christ whenever possible!

Our energetic line dancers invited the audience to learn the dances they had demonstrated. 

Our energetic line dancers invited the audience to learn the dances they had demonstrated. 

Paco, Pastor Miguel, and ladies from the church prepared wonderful meals for us throughout the week, including paella!  We enjoyed arepas for dinner on our last evening on Tenerife along with three different choices of stuffings.  We also had an "Iberian wheel"  of ham and 2 different kinds of Canary cheeses, dates wrapped in bacon, olives, and ice cream for dessert.

Paco, Pastor Miguel, and ladies from the church prepared wonderful meals for us throughout the week, including paella!  We enjoyed arepas for dinner on our last evening on Tenerife along with three different choices of stuffings.  We also had an "Iberian wheel"  of ham and 2 different kinds of Canary cheeses, dates wrapped in bacon, olives, and ice cream for dessert.

Having our typical Spanish meal on our last night in Tenerife...at 9:30pm...a very common time for our evening meals!   

Having our typical Spanish meal on our last night in Tenerife...at 9:30pm...a very common time for our evening meals!   

Following the meal, Tom expressed our appreciation to Pastor Miguel and the church! 

Following the meal, Tom expressed our appreciation to Pastor Miguel and the church! 

SPAIN: Onward Christians

Pastor Miguel wanted us to see the church in Icod. 

Pastor Miguel wanted us to see the church in Icod. 

We traveled to Icod de Los Vinos on Wednesday morning to lend support to one of Iglesia Cristiano Evangelica de La Cuesta's "daughter churches" by engaging the locals in some street evangelism.  After giving a cheerful "hola", we distributed information about the gospel and the local church's contact information. 

After the distribution , we had a picnic, delivered by La Cuesta, with a great view of the coast.  Then we traveled to the lava pools at El Caleton in Garachico where some of our team members enjoyed swimming in a cool Atlantic and experiencing the natural beauty of the area!

Finally, we put on out third festival Wednesday evening. We were so happy to have a good turnout from the community surrounding the plaza with many people returning from the previous festivals this week.  After Manny, Dani, and Pastor Miguel alternated preaching moments throughout the evening and people from the seminary, our team members, and local church members interacted with the crowd, 79 people prayed to receive Christ and 148 people heard a gospel presentation.  Gloria a Dios!

Picnic lunch complete with Canary bananas.

Picnic lunch complete with Canary bananas.

Some of our team members chose to swim in the cool Atlantic water in the volcanic pools.

Some of our team members chose to swim in the cool Atlantic water in the volcanic pools.

Even those of us who chose not to swim enjoyed the beautiful setting! 

Even those of us who chose not to swim enjoyed the beautiful setting! 

12 of us put together 120 rockets for the Wednesday festival, and ALL of them were used, 

12 of us put together 120 rockets for the Wednesday festival, and ALL of them were used, 

Our foam art table, the most popular of all the craft tables, was ready for the first young people to arrive at the festival. 

Our foam art table, the most popular of all the craft tables, was ready for the first young people to arrive at the festival. 

Boys and girls loved getting their faces and arms painted. 

Boys and girls loved getting their faces and arms painted. 

Children of all ages loved getting the special balloons created by out talented "balloon guys"! 

Children of all ages loved getting the special balloons created by out talented "balloon guys"! 

Fake tattoos were very popular! 

Fake tattoos were very popular! 

Manny, Dani, and Pastor Miguel alternated speaking to the crowds about every 30 minutes.  All of the activities for the children stopped during the short evangelistic messages! 

Manny, Dani, and Pastor Miguel alternated speaking to the crowds about every 30 minutes.  All of the activities for the children stopped during the short evangelistic messages! 

Our day ended with pizza served to our team on the plaza around 9:30pm, a 30 minute van trip back to the hotel, followed by a walk to the gelato shop!  It was a great day!

Our day ended with pizza served to our team on the plaza around 9:30pm, a 30 minute van trip back to the hotel, followed by a walk to the gelato shop!  It was a great day!

SPAIN: How Great Is Our God

What a wonderful festival we had Tuesday night. 189 heard the Gospel, 99 prayed to receive Christ's redemption, and many gave contact information to the local church. These numbers are unheard of for a new campaign.

Foam bookmark making

Foam bookmark making

Face painting

Face painting

Bracelet making

Bracelet making

People coming to the Salvation Tent heard the gospel message through the use of these salvation bracelets. 

People coming to the Salvation Tent heard the gospel message through the use of these salvation bracelets. 

SPAIN: For the Glory of God!

Stuart led our devotional time this morning by sharing thoughts from Ephesians 3:7-12 that no matter how menial our tasks, we should do it to the glory of God!  Tuesday morning was spent distributing flyers and other materials to people living in the community around the church.  Spanish speakers from the seminary were with each group of Americans as we spread out and covered the area.  After inviting lots of people, we walked to the church where we had a wonderful lunch that the church prepared for us.  Tonight we will put on our second festival on the plaza.  Please join with us in praying that all that is said and done would be for the glory of God!

These are the materials that we were distributing. 

These are the materials that we were distributing. 

One of the four groups getting ready to cover the neighborhoods on their side of the plaza

One of the four groups getting ready to cover the neighborhoods on their side of the plaza

Waiting for the groups to gather after the distribution for the walk to lunch at the church

Waiting for the groups to gather after the distribution for the walk to lunch at the church

Gina enjoyed spending time with some of the children after lunch! 

Gina enjoyed spending time with some of the children after lunch!