June 2015 Velasquez Family Update

Dear Pastor, Congregation and Friends,

The first Sunday of July we celebrate the two-year anniversary of the Biblical Baptist Church of Colmenar Viejo, Madrid. As this special date approaches I am reminded of why we started the church. It has always been our vision to start multiple churches. When we arrived in Spain in 2010 we joined my parents and sister and brother-in-law who had started a church in Parla, Madrid about seven months earlier. From the beginning we explained to the Parla Baptist Church that one day it would reproduce another church. We didn’t know at that time how soon that dream would be realized. Exactly two years after our arrival the Lord began to work in my heart about starting a new work. It was God who opened up the door. I had been having Bible studies in the home of Eduardo and Angie Sedoski for several months in 2012. This couple had been saved in the Parla church but lived fifty minutes away in the city of Colmenar Viejo. It was so far away that it was hard for them to invite people to church. As we started making contacts in this city of 50,000 people it became clear that Colmenar needed a gospel-preaching church. A few months later it was born.

What has God done? The first thing we have witnessed is multiplication. We are now saturating two cities with the gospel. Everything we attempt for the glory of God has twice the impact. Evangelism, Discipleship and leader-training is happening in two places at the same time. Here’s another blessing: we are reaching new people that otherwise wouldn’t have had access to the gospel. How has this happened? Colmenar Viejo was saturated with invitations to the inauguration two times. We have distributed thousands of gospel tracts throughout the city. We started the “Come and See” Bible study on Thursdays and several unbelievers are being taught the gospel every week. We saturated the city five times with invitations to the “Come and See” Bible study. We started free English classes for young people followed by a youth Bible study. Our average weekly attendance for the church is between fifteen and twenty. Two recent converts are Javier and Harold! The former is one of Eduardo’s friends. For over a year I have personally shared the gospel with him and he has attended the “Come and See” Bible study. He has given a clear testimony of salvation and will be baptized shortly. The latter is a young man that was invited by his girlfriend. He is being discipled and growing in the Lord. This is why we believe in church-planting. What would happen if we started more?

This leads us to the task of training men. We will only see churches started in proportion to the men trained. Pray especially for Paco and Flavius, both members of the church in Parla who are preparing for ministry. We want to see more men trained. Thank you for your faithful prayer and support. Rejoice with us at what God has done!

Dialoguing with teens

It has been two months since we started a free English class for teens in Colmenar Viejo. We now have a core group of ten students that attend the class faithfully. Most of these teens were invited by people from the Colmenar church. From the beginning our goals for the class have been the following:

– Make contacts with young people.

– Teach them the gospel.

– Make disciples.

We thank the Lord for what he has already done through this ministry! Through the class we have met thirteen young people. Not all of them have stayed but we now have new contacts. We have been able to share the gospel with all of them through the “Come and See” youth bible study that we have immediately following the English class. Not everyone stays for that but every week several attend. We have even been able to meet some of their parents. One mother has started attending church services recently.

One of the greatest blessings has been the salvation of Harold, one of the teens from the English class. He is fifteen years old. I meet up with him every week and teach him the Bible. He is now faithfully attending church services as well. Lord willing, he will be baptized soon.

I write this to compel you to pray for the youth of Colmenar Viejo and Spain. It has been wonderful to share the gospel with these teens and answer their questions but at the same time it has been heartbreaking. It is evident that some of them have never heard the gospel in any way before. Before the bible study I ask them to write down on a piece of paper a question about God or the Bible. We then answer the questions one by one. Here is a sample of some of the questions they have asked:

What are your reasons for believing that God exists?

If God exists, why doesn’t he manifest himself?

Is it necessary to believe in God?

Since the dawn of civilization, human beings have attributed things that they could not explain to a superior being, but that did not make their beliefs real. Why should we believe that God is real?

If God exists, why doesn’t he stop natural disasters like tsunamis and earthquakes?

Why did Jesus die? How could he rise again on the third day?

If Jesus did rise from the dead, how can I connect with him?

If you commit lots of sins, are you definitely going to Hell? Does Hell even exist?

Will you pray for these teens? Will you pray that God would give us wisdom in answering their questions? Will you pray that they would become disciples of Christ? Will you consider becoming a missionary to Spain?