January 2015 Velasquez Family Update

Dear Pastor, Congregation and Friends,

By the time you read this letter we will already be in Spain. It’s good to be home! We will miss our home church however. We have greatly enjoyed spending our furlough with them. We couldn’t ask for a better church. The Sunday before we left they had a special blessing service for us. The entire service was designed to be a help and encouragement to us. At the end they gave us a box full of notes from the different members. During times of discouragement we will have these letters as a reminder that we are loved by our church back home. We have enjoyed spending time with all of our supporting churches. We thank God for so many churches and individuals that are holding the ropes for us.

When we first arrived in Spain in 2010 my parents and sister and brother-in-law were there to pick us up. This time we were received by believers from the church in Colmenar Viejo. They are our family in Christ. We are united by a love for Christ and a passion to reach Spain with the gospel. This time we are not alone. We have others that have joined in on the mission. As we did at the beginning we will hit the ground running. We have much work to do as we plan for 2015. The task before us is great! More unbelievers need to be evangelized! More leaders need to be trained! More churches must be started! We know that God is the one that is doing the work, but we are conscious that time is short and our responsibility great. Pray that we would see God work during our second term.

Please keep Eduardo and Angie in your prayers. They helped us start the church in Colmenar. They are faithful and dedicated believers. They have recently experienced several financial setbacks. Eduardo is in desperate need of a job to provide for his family. They have remained faithful through it all and are a great example to others. Eduardo is a huge part of everything that is being done in Colmenar. Also, pray for Flavius. He is currently preparing to go into the ministry. He is studying several Bible courses and learning the practical aspects of ministry. Our hearts desire is to see young people saved and trained for the ministry. Paco is still doing an excellent job teaching the adult Sunday School class. When I first arrived none of these men were serving God. I can’t wait to meet more people that God is going to save and use in the ministry. Lord willing during our next furlough we will have many more stories to share of God’s transforming grace. If I could summarize what God taught me during my first term it would be this: The gospel works! We have seen it work in the past and we know that it will work in the future. Once again, thank you so much for partnering with us during these past four years. God Bless.

October 2014 Velasquez Family Update

Dear Pastor, Congregation and Friends,

The time has certainly gone by quickly for us during our furlough. In a couple months we will be back in Spain. It has been a blessing visiting so many of our supporting churches as well as a few new ones. We are thankful for every church that God has placed in our path. We are humbled by your generosity and love. We are partners together in the gospel. One of the benefits of a furlough for a missionary is that it gives him to time to pray and make plans for the future. We are excited about what God is doing in Spain and we are confident that He will continue to work. We just can’t believe that we get to be a part of it!

In September we had our first baptism in Colmenar! Angie’s sister, Guillermina, who is the first-fruits of the work in Colmenar, followed the Lord in believer’s baptism and it thrills our hearts. We pray for many more to be saved and baptized in Colmenar. The work is going strong in the new church plant. Several believers and unbelievers meet together every thursday for the “Come and see” Bible study and are hearing the gospel expounded upon as they go through the book of John. We plan to start English classes and a youth Bible study upon our return to Spain. In addition, we want to saturate the city with the gospel several times. Our goal is that every household in Colmenar Viejo have access to the gospel.

Sunday, September 19 was a highlight for our ministry in Spain. My father was invited to preach in another city and for the first time both churches functioned without the help of any missionary. This is a small but important step in the goal of the churches becoming indigenous. Carlos Temprano taught the Youth Sunday school class and gave the announcements, Cristian led the music, Paco Prada preached in both churches and Flavius gave a five-minute message. This is very important for us. We believe that our responsibility to to enable believers for the work of the ministry. (Ephesians 4:11-13). We told them from day one that we would not always be there and that God would raise up leaders from among them to carry on the work. They are witnessing this first-hand. There is much more work to be done. In order for Spain to be evangelized in our generation we must involve other people in the mission; we must reproduce ourselves in the lives of others; we must multiply our efforts. Please continue to pray for us as our furlough comes to an end that we would be bold in our witness and that God would use us to evangelize the lost, enable believers and establish more churches.

May 2014 Velasquez Family Update

Dear Pastor, Congregation and Friends,

“He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour.” (Acts 5:42) On the day that Jesus extended that invitation to Andrew and John he opened up his home to them and patiently taught them the truth about himself. We want to do the same. We want to invite people to “Come and see” the gospel of Christ and take the time to teach them. God is allowing us to do that in Colmenar. For months we have been meeting up with people at coffee shops or at their homes to help them explore Biblical Christianity. Last month we decided to start a Bible study at the church with the name “Come and See”. Every week we have several adults that meet up with us to go through the book of John. They are reading the gospel according to John and finding the answers to their questions directly from the Scriptures. This has been very eye-opening to them. Please pray for Javier, Nicolás, Mayra and Nilsa who have yet to come to the saving knowledge of Christ. Also pray for Eduardo and Angie, who are faithfully serving Christ and inviting their friends to the Bible study. God has already blessed this Bible study as Guille, Angie’s sister, was saved last week! 

Next month we will celebrate “Friend Day” in Parla and Colmenar. Every year God has blessed us with several visitors. Some have even been saved and added to the church. This will be our first friend day in Colmenar. Keep this special service in your prayers. This year I will be preaching a message on the subject of “Come and see”. Pray that we would be able to move into our new building in Parla soon. We have had some complications and probably won’t be able to move in until September. Soon we will be baptizing several new converts. What a joy to see people saved, baptized and added to the church and growing in their Christian walk! In April, Flavius, a young man from Romania was saved. He is growing in the Lord and is involved in everything. Please pray for Martín, Felipe, Romina and Lucas, for their salvation. Carlos Temprano, the first person the Lord allowed me to lead to Christ in Spain, is helping me teach the youth Sunday School class. He will be leading the youth group, with the help of my father, during our furlough.

The tickets have been purchased! We will be in the U.S. from July 22, 2014 – January 9, 2015. We look forward to seeing many of you again. Pray that God would allow us to raise more support as we have lost some support during our first term and the ministry here is growing. Thank you for your prayers and faithful support. God Bless.

 

March 2014 Velasquez Family Update

Dear Pastor, Congregation and Friends,

“And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” (Acts 5:42) I would love for that to be said of the churches in Parla and Colmenar. We are working towards that goal. We strive to teach and preach the gospel on a daily basis but more importantly, we want to involve others in the mission. The only way that our efforts will be multiplied is by preparing the believers for the work of the ministry. It’s exciting to see God use them! Miriam, a lady from the church in Parla, has been faithful in sharing the gospel with her friends. As we mentioned in our last letter, she invited Carmen to church and after months of hearing the gospel she was saved. We are thrilled to report that another one of her friends was saved a few weeks later! 

Please pray for wisdom as we look for a new building for the church in Parla. We want to see more people saved and lives changed and we simply don’t have any more room to grow in our current building. In preparation for future growth we are training several believers to disciple others. We cannot do the work alone! In Colmenar, please pray for two individuals that we are meeting up with every week to teach them the gospel. We believe that they are close to being saved. We just had a men’s meeting in my house. I was able to share the gospel with nine men from Colmenar and neighboring cities. Several showed interest in having personal Bible studies.

We need to share some important news with you. We are going to be taking a short six-month furlough from July 2014 – January 2015. Please contact me if you would like our family to report on the ministry in Spain in your church. We hope to see many of you again. We will be visiting a few new churches as well.

Please pray for two specific needs:

  • Favianna’s U.S. Citizenship. We hope to obtain it during our time in the states.
  • Support level. We have lost some support during our first term. We are currently at 87% of our needed support.

My parents, Julio & Andrea Velasquez, will be working in both churches during our absence as we did during their furlough. We have poured hours into training the believers to evangelize, disciple and teach others and we know they are going to continue being used of God in those areas. Thank you for your prayers and faithful support. God Bless.