It’s been about a year and a half since we started our ‘Come and See’ bible study on Thursday nights. It has been a great evangelistic tool. Every week we meet at the church, sit in a circle, and study the gospel of John. Amazingly the attendance is sometimes greater on Thursday night than it is on Sunday because in addition to our regular church members we have several ‘seekers’ that come to the mid-week Bible study.
Why did we start ‘Come and see’? We wanted to give people the opportunity to study biblical Christianity directly from the source (the Scriptures). So many people in Spain think they know all there is to know about Christianity and Jesus but are shocked when they discover that Christ’s testimony of himself and their idea of Christ aren’t the same. That is why we are going verse by verse through the gospel of John and letting the Scriptures speak for themselves. However, I always give preference to their questions. Many weeks I don’t have time to finish the lesson because they have so many questions.
I am thrilled to say that since we started the ‘Come and See’ Bible study we have had five of our regular attenders get saved and baptized. All of them are still with us. Another blessing is that we have always had ‘seekers’ with us. Right now we have two unbelievers that faithfully attend and another that attends sporadically. What is exciting is that those that have been transformed by the power of the gospel are able to share their testimony with these ‘seekers’ and say to them, “I’ve been where you are; I know what you’re thinking.”
‘Come and See’ has also been a great tool for discipleship and training men. It is a great time for new believers to have their questions answered and for mature believers to answer their questions. When we started ‘Come and See’ only Eduardo and I knew enough bible to answer questions. Now I have two other men that are explaining the gospel and patiently helping our ‘seekers’. Last Thursday was especially a blessing. We have a new lady that is attending the Bible study. She is friends with Angie (Eduardo’s wife). She asked these questions: “What is the difference between this church and the Catholic church and why did you start this church?” Instead of answering the questions myself I let the believers in the group answer them. I must say, it was a special moment for me. I saw people that had asked me the same questions in the past answer her questions very clearly and from the Scriptures. Please continue to pray for ‘Ven y Ve’ (Come and see).
We had an exciting weekend at the church in Colmenar! It all started with the baptism of Javier and Harold. Both of these men came to know Christ through the testimony of believers from the Colmenar church. Javier is Eduardo’s friend. For several years Eduardo shared the gospel with him. Last year I started meeting up with him once a week to answer his Bible questions. One of those days he confessed to me that he had believed the gospel! Saturday was the culmination of more than two years of praying for Javier and patiently teaching him the gospel.
Harold is sixteen. He was invited to church by Mayra. Very soon after he started attending the church services he shared with me that he had placed his faith and trust in Jesus for his salvation. The Lord used a gospel film to show him his need of Christ. I immediately started discipling him. It has been wonderful to see the change in his life. We spend lots of time together during the week studying the Bible.
Then to top things off Flavius preached his first full-length message on Sunday. In the message he clearly expounded the gospel of Christ! It’s weekends like these that I am reminded of why we came to Spain as missionaries. Thank you for your prayers.
“Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth.” (Colossians 1:6) When the gospel is proclaimed it brings forth fruit! We have that promise in Scripture. In the three months since our return to Spain, we have seen numeric and spiritual growth in Parla and Colmenar. It all started in February with four baptisms! From the church in Parla, Lucas and Romina (brother-and-sister) were baptized. Then from Colmenar I had the privilege of baptizing Mayra and my own son, Ian. All of these were individuals to whom we had spent several months/years sharing the gospel. It was especially thrilling to baptize my son!
March started with two aggressive evangelistic campaigns for the city of Colmenar. First, we started English classes for young people between the ages of thirteen and twenty. We distributed three thousand invitations at all the high-schools in Colmenar. The flyer was two-sided. On one side was an invitation to the English class; on the other an invitation to a youth “Come and see” Bible study. The idea is to meet young people and share the gospel with them in order to start a youth ministry. Ten young people have already signed up. Please pray for this ministry! We were also able to saturate the city of Colmenar with invitations to our Thursday “Come & see” Bible study. This new evangelistic effort brought a new lady, Conchita, to the Colmenar church. She has been searching for the truth for years. She now comes faithfully to every service. She has been very open to the gospel message. Pray for her salvation. We have had others call about the Bible study. This ministry has been a great tool for us to present the gospel to many here in Colmenar.
Last week we took twenty members from Colmenar and Parla to a Youth Summit organized by my good friends Alberto and Francisco Puente (missionaries to Sevilla). It was a great time for them to learn more about the need for the gospel around the world. I was able to teach a class and translate for another good friend, Travis Snode (missionary to England) as he taught and preached. On the last day of the Summit an invitation was extended for anyone that wanted to get saved. We were all thrilled as Luis, Flavius’ friend, came forward. My father and I had the privilege of sharing the gospel with him for almost an hour. That day he trusted Christ as his personal Savior. The next day he came to church and gave a public testimony of his faith in Christ. Flavius is going to begin discipling him immediately. It’s great to see disciples making disciples and it’s great to see the youth group in Parla grow. Please continue to pray for the ministry here.
This past Sunday I had the privilege of baptizing four believers. Two from Colmenar (First picture) and two from Parla (Second picture). One of them was my son. It was a very special day.
Ian: Since he was born we have whispered the gospel in his ears. As he grew up he began to ask a lot of questions about sin, salvation, hell and heaven. I am amazed by some of the questions he asks. I believe that it’s healthy for him to ask those questions because it shows that he is thinking about these things instead of simply borrowing his parent’s faith. He was saved last year during children’s camp. I am so proud of him. I pray that God would use him for His honor and glory.
Mayra: She began visiting the church in Colmenar last year. She had been influenced by her Christian best friend and came with lots of questions. From the beginning she was faithful to every service. She would bring good questions to our Thursday night “Come and See” Bible study and always wanted to talk after the Sunday message. God was working in her life. Last year during our furlough we got news that Mayra had finally believed the gospel. It has been amazing to see the change in her life. She is sharing the gospel with her friends and is involved in everything.
Lucas and Romina: We had been praying for young people for a long time and little by little they began to come. The only problem was that our entire youth group was lost. They didn’t seem very interested in the lessons and it was hard to have conversations with them about spiritual things. First Jefferson was saved. He was serving faithfully in the church but moved back to his home country (Peru) last year. Then Flavius was saved. He is currently preparing to go into full-time ministry. Then Lucas and Romina were saved. They are siblings. My sister, Deborah, had the opportunity to lead Romina to Christ and then Lucas was lead to Christ by his dad. Please continue praying for the youth in Spain. We rejoice with these baptisms.
Yesterday I had the privilege of baptizing this young man. I met him exactly two years ago and immediately began to meet with him regularly to teach him the Bible. He always showed lots of interest but would never make a decision concerning Christ. I would give him assignments each week where he would have to study a portion of Scripture and I even gave him several books to help answer some of his questions. After a year pouring many hours into teaching him the Bible he still hadn’t become a believer. I began to feel discouraged and stopped meeting with him as often. I prayed constantly for him. Thankfully he continued going to church faithfully and heard the gospel week after week.
Then when I began to lose hope he confessed to me that he had repented of his sins and placed his faith in Christ for his salvation. I was overjoyed. Since then I have spent countless hours with him and he is growing in the Lord. He goes with me almost everywhere. He is reading his Bible faithfully, memorizing verses and serving in the church. I’m anxious to see what God is going to do in his life.
Jefferson has taught me many things. I have learned that ministry takes time. I want to train men for the ministry but that doesn’t happen overnight. I have to be faithful in the process and entrust the product to God. Also, I’ve learned that discipleship begins before salvation as we teach unbelievers the gospel and it continues until we have trained them and they are able to reproduce themselves in the lives of others. In other words, it’s hard work. Please continue to pray for Jefferson and for others like him that are yet to be saved.